I was raised in a home where volunteering was part of the thread of our lives. Whether it was the child whose bicycle broke down in front of our house and who was then invited to the porch for some koolaid icecubes on a hot summer day while my Dad fixed their bike, or riding along with Mom and Dad to deliver food or gifts to people in need, volunteering was just something we routinely did. As the years passed by, it remained integral in my life. Girl Scout, school, church, and community events have enhanced my life for as long as I can remember.
So, when I heard an ad today for a website that will link people with volunteer opportunities, at first it made me think... Really? People need to be pointed in a direction for that?
But then, I heard them say that if you volunteer, it can help you build skills that you can use in your career. It dawned on me that I've been doing that my whole life and just never realized it. I've learned event organization, honed skills of tenacity while requesting donations, developed negotiation strategies in working with children, learned how to think on the fly, how to laugh at myself, how to make do with little to accomplish a goal, and how to get others fully vested in the process.
The concept of volunteering so that you can develop new skills to either secure a job or advance in your career really does make sense. It also makes you feel fantastic.
As one friend of mine put it, "It gives you the chance to justify the space you occupy and have fun doing it."
My suggestion today to help chart the course to your success? Volunteer.