Workplace: Volunteer

Volunteer: noun – a person who freely offers to take part in an activity or to undertake a task.

Volunteer time can feed your soul, increase your skills, broaden your network of colleagues and friends, and of course, helps the organization you have given your time and talents to supporting. Volunteers help organizations accomplish work that they can’t possibly hire enough employees to complete.

Organizations of all sizes rely on volunteerism: schools, churches, civic groups for youth and for adults, and non-profits of all missions and causes. Volunteer committees and boards accomplish a range of duties including governance, fundraising, work tasks, tutoring, staff supports, and more.

Corporations have volunteer activities and days in place. A local bank closes one day a year for employees to participate in community clean-up/park improvement projects – and invites customers to join in. Several corporations provide volunteer ushers for the renowned Idaho Shakespeare Festival – the company gets recognition and the employees get to see the performance. Nationwide, groups participate in Rake-Up-the-Town and Paint-the-Town events – bringing team spirit to daily work groups.

Volunteer service can be added to your resume. It conveys your care for the community, your willingness to serve beyond yourself, and shares your interests and possible knowledge and skills you’ve gained. Institutions of higher education and employers like knowing that their prospective students and employees are engaged in something larger than themselves.

“Voluntold” is a phrase I’ve been hearing in the last few years. Meaning: Someone else volunteered me for a task and told me that I was to complete it. Some people go along with this merrily. Others of us feel frustrated because we like to control our YES and NO, thank you opportunities. Volunteer means we are saying YES for ourselves – not for others.

For what do you enjoy volunteering? Are you volunteering just the right amount? Or too much?

Workplace: Managing the moments of our day-to-day business lives takes work. Together, let’s explore    what issues and activities affect us every day (or some days) that we go to work. – Jana

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