Time is on Your Most Valuable Asset…So Why Volunteer?
12 months / 52 weeks / 365 days / 8,765 hours…every hour of every day is a balancing act of work and life. Critical business decisions need to be made every day, employees seek your leadership, and customers are demanding your attention. With all of these demands, why volunteer?
Volunteerism and Community Leadership
Volunteering enables you to make a positive impact within your community, while empowering you to better your life. As a successful business leader, you have a lot to give, perhaps even more than you realize. In serving, you will have a chance to work alongside other talented individuals that you may never have known otherwise.
People who feel passionate about the cause for which they are working may enrich your life and bring out talents you didn’t even know you had.
Sonya Stinson’s Forbes article, “Why Paying Your Employees To Volunteer Pays Off” does a very good job of explaining why it makes sense for a business to encourage employees to take time off to volunteer in their community. Many companies believe their success will help their local community prosper. More than a belief, the key component with volunteering is “action”.
Build Trust / Expand Your Network
Giving of your time is a simple way for you to network with a whole range of new individuals. It’s a unique time to build trust and share “why” you do what you do. Sharing your purpose and sharing your cause will help these new individuals understand what motivates you to take action. So, when your cause aligns to another’s goals and values, the natural progression will be to build a mutually beneficial relationship.
It is safe to say that many powerful new business relationships and opportunities have grown from volunteering. Serving on a local advisory board is a great way for other leaders in your community to meet you, observe the way you do business, and build a strong, transferable bond. In many cases, volunteering is the validation that many business leaders need before recommending you and your company to their personal connections.
Volunteering enables both individuals and businesses to make a positive impact on their community, while empowering the individual to better his or her life. Volunteering lets us experience and learn things that we otherwise would not have known. It opens doors for us that we may not have been able to open before.
Volunteering provides us with guidance and tolerance which we may use in the future to aid us in our decisions. For some, volunteering is perceived only to benefit those who are being helped. However, one will quickly realize that volunteering benefits the volunteer as much as, if not more than, those who are helped. Volunteering makes a difference in your community, and it also helps the volunteer become a smarter, happier, friendlier and more caring individual.
Develop New Skills
Volunteering also enables a person to develop new skills that he or she would otherwise not have been able to learn. An organization is happy to give positions to passionate individuals who desire to help others and benefit the community.
Think about the value in your current role that you provide to your company on a daily basis. You may focus on business strategy, public relations, search engine optimization, finance or event planning.
Maybe you have expertise in certain social sectors. In your role, you possess exceptional skills and successful experience that helps the business grow. Now, take these same skills and experiences and apply them in a volunteer capacity. Two things quickly come to mind: 1) you are providing the “know-how” to help an organization achieve its goals and 2) you are teaching others how you do what you do. Both provide opportunities for an individual with little experience in a field of work to gain meaningful skills, which he or she can use in the future.
Volunteering teaches us to let go of ignorance, educating oneself about the real, and sometimes stressful condition of people in your community. Volunteering will teach an individual many of life’s greatest lessons. It will let an individual grow into a better person and have a positive impact on one’s life.
One person CAN make a difference in the world. Volunteering teaches us to try to make a positive difference in a person’s life today so they can experience a better tomorrow.