...not just this time of year, but all year round. There is a reason why more and more companies are sponsoring volunteering programs for their employees. Choosing to volunteer not only helps the people and organizations you are serving, but can help you a lot, too, in very practical ways.
If you are working and you volunteer for a company-sponsored activity, you can meet and work with people from other parts or levels of your own organization, a real exposure bonus. One of our clients made a very successful proposal to a senior manager a month after she had painted a day care center with him. He knew her, and she knew him, which made the presentation much easier to do and much easier to receive.
If you are working and you volunteer on your own, you will get to know a whole new organization with a new cast of characters. That can broaden your own skills and abilities and even show you a new career direction. One of our clients ended up a leader in every organization she volunteered for. She used that experience to move into a very successful management career.
If you are NOT working, volunteering can make a huge difference to you. It will get you out of the house. It will give you some recent accomplishments to put on your resume. It will give you something new to talk about in an interview. It will broaden your personal network. The important thing to remember is to volunteer your professional skills when you can. Several of our clients who are looking for work in this recession have added impressive volunteer activity to their resumes. If you can't find such an opportunity, ask your professional association. Many sponsor volunteer activities for their members.
You may seem to be doing something for someone else when you are volunteering, but you are also doing something important for yourself! Add volunteering to your New Year's resolutions!
Merry Christmas, Happy Hanukkah, Happy Holidays,