Do you suffer from “youth worker says yes” syndrome?

Two years ago almost to the day I joined the board of an organisation. In that time I have served faithfully have only missed one meeting and helped turn that little unincorporated society into a fully fledged $3million dollar a year not-for-profit with all the bureaucratic trimmings. I have enjoyed this time immensely, however tonight is my last meeting with the organisation and I cant wait to move on.
If I had have realised the amount of work which was required to support this organisation I would have seriously thought differently about joining. It wasn’t just the meetings, it was the staff development, the mountain of emails and the extra events and fundraisers I was expected to be at. Also the mentoring of new board members really took a toll on my time and energy.
The worst thing is that it is only one of more than a dozen committees and boards I am a part of! I suffer major “youth worker says yes” syndrome. When I was a youth work student my lecturers pounded into me the need to join everything and get to know everyone. We were told to build our skills by joining committees. We were told that to be the best we needed to be involved in EVERYTHING!!! 
As youth workers we love to be involved… but it can be detrimental. If you are a joiner you know how much it can destroy you. 
Whats one thing that you can let go or get rid of in the next month? What could you do for your own self care with that extra time? What do you need to say no too?

Aaron Garth

Aaron Garth is the Executive Director of Ultimate Youth Worker. Aaron has worked as a youth worker in a number of settings including local church, street drug and alcohol outreach, family services, residential care, local government and youth homelessness since 2003. Aaron is a regular speaker at camps, retreats, & youth work training events and is a dedicated to seeing a more professional youth sector in Australia. Aaron is a graduate of RMIT University and an alumnus of their youth work program. He lives in Melbourne with his wife Jennifer & their daughters Hope, Zoe, Esther, Niamh and son Ezra.

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