Need To Do More Networking? There's A Volunteer Opportunity For That!

Real Estate Broker/Owner with North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate

Volunteer Coffee MugMy name is Carie and I am a serial volunteer.   The truth is, I’ve always had a penchant for volunteer work.  Organizing events for Teens Against Dystrophy as a young girl.  Spending hours every Sunday reading to, and visiting with, residents at a nearby nursing home during high school.  Assisting on a weekly basis in the ICU Waiting Room at a local hospital as a 20-something adult.  Not to mention the countless fundraising and charity events along the way.  Honestly, it would be nearly impossible to recall each and every activity for which I have volunteered throughout my lifetime.  Yet, oddly enough, never did I realize my affinity for volunteer work might one day translate into a strategic and integral portion of my professional life.  That is – until now.

Whether you find yourself overflowing with business, going through a transition, or somewhere in-between –  volunteering is nothing short of "Win/Win."  As I travel the winding roads of reinvention myself, I recognize that volunteering for business-related entities is an effective way to expand and enhance my professional horizons.  For example, I currently serve on a special events committee for a local association chapter, maintain the website for a local nonprofit organization, and regularly assist with social media workshops sponsored by a local, not-for-profit, employment resource center.  Not surprisingly, there are seemingly endless associations and organizations from which to choose.  But, here's the best part:  When people see you on a regular basis – connections are created based on familiarity and trust.  And, in my opinion, the most meaningful connections – personal or professional – are primarily based on familiarity and trust.

Will I still serve holiday meals to homeless veterans, sort donated groceries at the food bank, or otherwise raise my hand in times of need?  Absolutely.  Volunteering is certainly a selfless and compassionate way to assist those who are less fortunate.  However, volunteer endeavors need not be approached solely from this perspective.  Rather, volunteering is an exceptional way to build significant professional relationships.  And these  relationships are, as we all know, crucial to our professional well-being.  The late, great, incomparable Zig Ziglar famously quoted:  "You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want."  Sounds good to me.  Meanwhile, one of my good friends thinks I volunteer too much.  Fair enough.  Even so, I'll continue to sign up for stuff – because that's just who I am.

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Re-Blogged 2 times:

Re-Blogged By Re-Blogged At
  1. Ginger Harper 02/18/2013 11:02 AM
  2. Roy Kelley 02/18/2013 09:06 PM
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Brian Rayl
Home Value Leads - Highland Park, TX
Active Agent and Co-founder Of Home Value Leads

Carie, philanthropy is in my blood as well. I love giving to those who are less fortunate. Never saw it as a business opportunity, but I have generated business from it. Maybe if I open my eyes, the opportunities will present themselves! 

Feb 18, 2013 03:30 PM #26
Bobbie Smith
Stroudsburg, PA

Excellent post and comments. I came over from Roy kellers share on Google+. We all need to "give back" our share, that is for sure.

Feb 18, 2013 09:26 PM #27
Sharon Parisi
United Real Estate Dallas - Dallas, TX
Dallas Homes

Carie, you, along with the Late Zig Zigler, hit the nail on the head. One generally receives far more than they give.  I confess, I am also a serial volunteer.

Feb 18, 2013 10:12 PM #29
Frank Rubi
Frank Rubi Real Estate, LLC - Metairie, LA

Carie, good for you on your volunteering efforts. I do the same but not as many different charities. I spend about 20 hours a week coaching High School varsity golf. Now entering my 4 year. My reward is helping these junior golfers become state competitors. Business is business but I enjoy Life. As group we do go out and serve the community so the golfers or picking up on my volunteerism. Keep up the great work. 

Feb 18, 2013 10:58 PM #30
Nancy Laswick
United Real Estate - Phoenix, AZ
Your REALTOR® For The Valley Of The Sun

Carie, I don't know about other professions but volunteering seems to come naturally to the real estate industry. If agents are looking for opportunities to volunteer try your local Realtors® Association they usually have many opportunities.

Feb 19, 2013 04:38 AM #31
Robert Hicks
United Country River City Realty - Savannah, TN

Wow Carie-- I admire you... You are a blessing to your community and I know it helps you as well.. I need to do better...

Feb 19, 2013 05:51 AM #32
Marte Cliff
Marte Cliff Copywriting - Priest River, ID
Your real estate writer

Your friend probably wishes you volunteered less so you could spend more time with her! Maybe you need to get her to go with you.

Meanwhile... it's only "too much" if you no longer enjoy it or it does damage to other important aspects of your life.

Feb 19, 2013 06:10 AM #33
John DL Arendsen
Crest Backyard Homes "ADU" dealer & Contractor

My entire family (wife and 5 kids) have been ardently involved with the Boys and Girs Club and the YMCA. Can't even begin to calculate the value derived therein. Not only financially but spirituslly, emotionally and mentally as well. Something just feels right about extending a hand to others.

Feb 19, 2013 06:43 AM #34
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Grant:  I love that quote too :)

Christine:  It sure does to me too!

Praful:  I was really bummed that I had to miss the Meetup on Saturday!  And, also disappointed that I missed the opportunity to see you guys while you were still in town.  I'll look forward to the next time, my friends :)

Brian:  Life is all about relationships and where we develop those relationships ... so one never knows, right?

Bobbie:  Agreed.  To me, giving back is so important ....

Feb 19, 2013 11:09 AM #35
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Valerie:  Hey fellow serial volunteer!  I'm with you ... I enjoy the opportunities to learn, help others, and meet great folks!  Volunteering is never, ever dull and it feels so good too!

Sharon:  Your confession is safe with me :)

Frank:  I love your volunteer story!  Good for you and you keep up the great work too!

Nancy:  You're right!  There are opportunities within the real estate community and beyond!

Robert:  Thanks!  And it's never too late to get started :)

Marte:  Good point!  I guess when you think about it, everything in life is too much only if it negatively affects something else in our life, yes?

John:  The family that volunteers together ... stays together? I love it!

Feb 19, 2013 11:17 AM #36
Margaret Rome Baltimore 410-530-2400
HomeRome Realty 410-530-2400 - Pikesville, MD
Sell Your Home With Margaret Rome

Carrie, You make us all proud. I love your attitude!

Feb 19, 2013 12:05 PM #37
Jennifer Fivelsdal
JFIVE Home Realty LLC | 845-758-6842|162 Deer Run Rd Red Hook NY 12571 - Rhinebeck, NY
Mid Hudson Valley real estate connection

Carrie I love that Zig Ziglar quote, as well as the Biblical quote there is more happiness in giving than in receiving.  You set a fine example in giving of yourself.

Feb 19, 2013 01:12 PM #38
Bob Miller
Keller Williams Cornerstone Realty - Ocala, FL
The Ocala Dream Team
Hi Carrie, we agree and volunteer at the local elementary school.
Feb 19, 2013 09:50 PM #39
Carie Shapiro
North Shore Suburbs & Chicago Real Estate - Evanston, IL

Margaret:  Awww, thanks ... I like you too :)

Jennifer:  Thank you.  And, I agree ... both are wonderful quotes!

Bob:  That is cool ... and I'm sure you enjoy doing that too!

Feb 20, 2013 12:28 AM #40
Mary Hutchison, SRES, ABR
Better Homes and Gardens Real Estate-Kansas City Homes - Kansas City, MO
Experienced Agent in Kansas City Metro area

I volunteer for our local public radio station and serve on my HOA board.  Have also volunteered for Habitat ReStore. I do like giving to the community in this way, wish I had time to do a bit more.

Feb 20, 2013 09:47 AM #41
Rebecca Gaujot, Realtor®
Lewisburg, WV
Lewisburg WV, the go to agent for all real estate

Carrie, I saw Zig Ziglar in person years ago and he is amazing.  I do a lot of volunteering for Habitat for Humanity of WV.

Feb 20, 2013 01:28 PM #42
Bill Cherry, Realtor - Dallas, TX
Broker & Wealth Coach

Hi, Carie --

Well, I definitely admire you and all others who volunteer.  There's no question that the ancillery benefit is the creation of a sphere of influence.

I've not done much of it, and I'm not sure why.  So you're an inspiration for those who want to make it big by helping others.

Good post.

Feb 24, 2013 02:07 PM #43
Nina Rogoff
RE/MAX Executive Realty - Medfield, MA
Sells Real Estate!

Carie, I've always thought of myself as a philanthropist without the megabucks! Volunteering is something I learned from my parents and grandparents, and my husband and I hope to pass it on to our children...who have already started! I tell my kids that I want to live on a planet where people are kind and helpful to one another. Now, I have to go because there's a committee meeting for the 4th of July celebration in Sharon!! lol

Feb 26, 2013 07:31 AM #44
Lorraine or Loretta Kratz
Crescent Moon Realty, Inc. & Land N Sea Auctions. - San Marcos, CA
Certified Negotiation Consultants

My mother recently was in a nursing rehab center and it was shocking to see how many of our seniors are forgotten by their family members, as well as not having any friends or family left, and yes, I decided to volunteer every week to go and visit these forgotten souls.

Mar 01, 2013 10:32 PM #45
Joni Bailey
101 Main St. Realty - Huntsville, TX
Your Huntsville / Lake Livingston Area REALTOR®

Girl! We must be sisters. I paint nails at a local nursing home, help at an alcohol and drug rehab home for women, help make sleeping mats for the homeless. There are few things that can lift your spirit than helping others. That's why so many of us love ActiveRain. We can help others and receive help at the same time. :)

Mar 11, 2013 10:02 AM #46
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