Nonprofits are the stomping ground for workers who want to make a difference and be a part of a larger effort for the greater good. Working as a team, volunteers bring diverse skills, expertise and passion as they work towards a common vision.
In a nonprofit environment, your unique career skills are gold. And, while they are not handing out any gold to line your pockets, know that the sense of accomplishment and appreciation can far outweigh the paycheck.
There are many reasons to volunteer your time and talent. The times during a career when volunteering is an opportunity are:
- When you are out of a job. You are at loose ends and miss the daily structure you had before. Sometimes it takes months to find another job. Volunteering could be your key to sanity and in filling a work gap on your resume.
- When you are headed for retirement. You now want to do something meaningful — consider an organization that tugs at your heart strings. A local charity could provide full time employment and keep you very busy.
- When you are still at work. You feel you want to be a part of a bigger effort. Squeeze in a few hours a month and feel the joy that comes from making a difference, even on a smaller scale. This is also a network booster – you meet many more people who may be instrumental in helping you land a different job in the future.
- When it’s a company effort. Take a stand and lead your company to rally around a local charity by donating to it or taking a company day and selecting a much needed community project. Ideas include everyone cleaning up a local park, reading to nursing home residents, painting a playground, planting flowers, etc. Many companies are doing this; and they often receive favorable press which is great free advertising. In addition, you meet new people in your company – you have expanded yourself beyond your group or division silo.
You would be surprised at what services nonprofits might need; your skills may be just what they’re looking for. The return on your investment is priceless. As Nike says, “Just do it.”
To Your Career Success,
© Katie Weiser, 2015. Unauthorized use and/or duplication of this material without express and written permission from this blog’s author/owner is strictly prohibited. Excerpts and links may be used, provided that full and clear credit is given to Katie Weiser with appropriate and specific direction to the original content.