New Year, New Opportunity?
Updated: May 16, 2020
With the new year upon us, we often think of reevaluating how we spend our time and what our goals should be for 2020. We think of working on improving our diet, getting organized, or maybe a job change. But, I wanted to throw something out into the universe ... if you have time to volunteer for a local non-profit or organization that benefits your local community, do it!
I know that I'm always preaching (and still preach!) about not overcommitting yourself and making sure you’ve set aside the right amount of time so as to not overload your schedule or cause yourself added stress.
But, if there’s one thing I’ve learned over the years it’s that volunteering can be extremely rewarding. And no, I’m not coming from a place where time is plentiful. I’m not coming from a place of someone who has loads of time or the ability to easily get childcare to watch my children while I go out doing things that aren’t necessarily a requirement of my life. What I’m saying is that, if you find yourself looking to do something different and branch out, meet new people or make a difference in someone’s life, then volunteering may be a great option for you!
I look around my community and see an overabundance of organizations that are in need of more help, people with fresh ideas, an extra set of hands, or energy and zest to help an organization move forward.
And most of these organizations will benefit you or a friend at some point in your life so don’t feel like you are just throwing your time away. It doesn’t have to be a steady commitment, it could be an events only commitment or help with marketing or community outreach but I can guarantee you will make a difference even if it doesn’t feel like it at first. You certainly have to find something that suits you and for that I recommend looking to yourself and thinking about what your passions are. If you don’t know where to start think about this …
What are your personal interests?
What is your past?
Have you or a family member or friend once needed help from a certain organization?
Is there a social group in town you’d like to get more involved in?
Does your child or relatives school need extra help?
Another great perk to volunteering is you can often put it on your resume. Employers love to see resumes with volunteer experience. And if you are looking to change careers or focus more on your passions, find a local organization that’s willing to let you do that type of work! Never worked in marketing? Volunteer to help with marketing for a local food pantry. Want to work in fundraising or business? Volunteer with a local school that needs help raising capital.
These are tangible skills and life experiences that you can give yourself and use as real examples in interviews. In fact, often times your volunteering could lead to a paying job at the organization you’ve volunteered for! So whether it’s just to give back to your community, or to advance in your career, or maybe even step back into the workforce, consider a step in this direction.
Donating your time can be such an amazing, life changing but simple thing you can do to fill more than one bucket in your life! There are opportunities all around you so if you find yourself looking for something a bit different this new year, check it out!
For local opportunities check out idealist.org or volunteermatch.org