I received an email from the AITP President, Mark Gilfand, broadcasted to all AITP members in late July. It was an opportunity to take a survey offered by the USDOL. I decided to participate in the research survey as I am a Systems Engineer and was hoping the information I could provide would be helpful for others.
I sent in the email to USDOL with a brief background description of my qualifications and work history. About a week later, I received a follow up email, asking for a more specific clarification and more detailed questions in regards to my work experience, educational background, and years of experience. Total time to complete the email was just a few minutes. I was told that I would be contacted by phone if I was chosen as a candidate to fill out the final evaluation survey.
Several months passed, and I have to admit I had completely forgotten about all of this, when I finally received a call from the Department of Labor. My first thoughts were frantic, as I could not imagine why I was receiving a personal call from the United States Department of Labor-had someone filed a complaint?? After a few moments of discussion I finally remembered the email I had sent in to participate in the survey. The call was to inform me that I had indeed, been chosen, and I was asked a few more brief questions. The representative let me know that they were mailing my questionnaires and other items within the week. I could either fill out the survey online, or use the booklets sent to me with a postage paid return envelope.
As promised, a week later, I received two large boxes from the USDOL. One contained a very nice wood-framed Certificate of Appreciation, the other contained the survey booklets, literature, instructions, and $40.00 in cash! I spent an hour or so filling out the survey booklets and mailed them in in order to use the postage paid envelope, otherwise, I would have normally filled the forms out online.
Moral of my story: For just a few hours of personal time invested, I received $40.00 in cash, a nice framed certificate for my wall, and, most importantly, perhaps the information I provided will help others in the IT field. Not a bad deal to receive as a perk for being an AITP Member!