“Not everything that counts can be counted. And not everything that can be counted, counts.”
– Albert Einstein
Giving back to the community is on your to-do list. You have every intention of giving back, volunteering and making more of an impact. Yet, it feels impossible to fit another thing into your hectic week so how do you address that gut feeling of wanting to give back?
Wouldn’t it be great if your employer supported you in giving back to the community- with time, recognition and even financial support? It’s not just a distant fantasy. Julie, an employee at a major telecommunications firm, has found the key to balancing volunteering with corporate and personal life. Check out this month’s episode of the Leadership Lounge where we meet Julie and hear tips for how giving back can be easier than you think:
As an employer, there are benefits to encouraging employees to participate in community activities. They become brand ambassadors of the company vision and values ( like Julie). You offer them skill building opportunities outside the cubicle. You encourage them to find areas they are passionate about thereby increasing their exposure to new people and projects which can help identify new customer gaps or solutions. You offer them diverse experience which they will bring back into the workplace and share with others, thereby sparking new conversations, ideas and solutions. You contribute to the community in which your company belongs, strengthening the links between profits and purpose.
If you are pumped and excited to jump on the volunteer band-wagon, here are some ways you can get involved starting right now:
1. Mentoring is a fantastic way to virtually volunteer. Not only does it grow your network, enable you to share your stories and skills with new people but also empowers you to demonstrate leadership skills by growing future leaders in your industry, field or community.
There are global virtual mentor programs that focus like Cherie Blair Foundation that focus on building business acumen in entrepreneurs.
There are movements focussed on female leadership development through employee resource groups ( ERGs) – you could start a LeanIN circle at your company
There are great local initiatives to aid skilled immigrants in integrating into the workforce like TRIEC’s mentoring partnership
2. Find a volunteer opportunity that suits your interests, geography and personality with Volunteer Match: http://www.volunteermatch.org
3. Think of an organization you are inspired by. Think of 3 ways that you can offer value to them then design your own volunteer project. Be sure to state the problem statement ( as you view it), how you can help and state clearly the commitment of time, energy and resources you can offer. Make this opportunity happen for yourself. Its a great way to connect with your dream organization or build a case study to showcase your value AND do good for a great cause.