“There aren’t enough hours in the day,” is muttered over and over both at work and at home. And now they want you to volunteer? Despite every modern convenience, no one seems to have ample time to get everything done. We are over overcommitted and understaffed, but if you are not giving back to the community, it is time to re-evaluate.
The personal benefits of volunteering are numerous and outlined in the following paragraphs, but first, we’ll give the argument a firm, fiscal foundation. Many (and we mean a lot) of the Valley’s most influential and well-connected people are active with nonprofits. Not just in name, but out there getting their hands dirty. What better way to meet local industry leaders than working together on a shared cause? Our non-scientific evaluation suggests that there are countless ways to give back in the Greater Lehigh Valley. No matter your focus, passion, raison d’être, there is a place for you. Serving a greater good can be a crucial part of your personal success and your company’s prosperity. As a business owner, it is no longer good enough to write a check and move on. Valued clients and potential employees seek civic-minded partners who make corporate responsibility a priority. Additionally, we cannot emphasize enough that nonprofits are businesses that hire support services to run effectively and efficiently. What better way to showcase your competencies? So get ready to enjoy the benefits! Volunteering doesn’t simply offer “good vibes’ by doing the right thing. It will enhance work and personal experiences in a number of ways.
Shape a new skill set: It is difficult, if not impossible, to make a distinct job change within most organizations unless you continue your education. And while that’s always a great idea, the reality is few of us have the time or means to return to school. Nonprofit organizations welcome help in whatever role you choose. A committee position supporting a different discipline is a chance to cultivate a new skill set. The challenge is real, and the success you experience may be enough to build your resume and pivot your career. Even if you have no intention of changing vocations, the unique experience will offer a new perspective and a better understanding of the workplace.
Learn to be a leader: Many employees are vital to their organizations and add value each day. But what if your job doesn’t give you the chance to manage others? Volunteering can allow you to lead a project, design through implementation, and manage a team. Already in a leadership role? Chances are, you and those you manage share similar competencies. Through volunteering, you’ll have a chance to hone leadership and communication skills with people from a wide variety of career and personal backgrounds.
Build your network: We can always use a little help from our friends, and there’s comfort staying within your circle. However, getting involved introduces you to new people and broadens horizons. Through teamwork and positive volunteer experiences, new acquaintances build trust and often seek out support on career and personal levels. Relaxed, positive community impact will spark growth in places you wouldn’t have expected.
Don’t worry, be healthy: Studies demonstrate that volunteering makes you happy. Helping others can reduce stress, keep you mentally challenged, increase self-confidence, combat depression, gets you physically active, and gives you a purpose. Small acts on your part can lead to big changes in people’s lives, especially for those who really need it, and that feels good. And volunteering doesn’t have to be a singular, long-term commitment. In fact, the more diverse your experiences, the more you’ll grow.
Become a catalyst for change: Don’t just re-tweet or like a post about an important issue, choose to make a difference in something meaningful to you. As you champion the mission among your friends and co-workers your influence can have far-reaching effects. Your personal accountability and involvement may jump-start others to work for change as well. From children to dogs, building homes to the environment, there is an organization in need of your help. Begin your search at www.volunteerlv.org or www.volunteermatch.org.