I am an IT consultant, who has been on a volunteer committee for about two years. Recently, I put all my of my networking contacts and resources in play, to ensure the success of an event we held. Instead of feeling extremely happy for our record attendance, I am not looking forward to going through this again in the next couple of months for our next event. It took me a day or two to realize that I am feeling resentment for carrying the bulk of the workload. I am trying to decide if I should resign.
It is very common for a busy professional to feel overwhelmed with their job commitments, let alone additional work they carry in their volunteer work on board or committee.
Whenever my clients begin to question the tasks they are doing on their non-paying jobs, I suggest they answer the following questions:
- What is in it for me?
- What are the goals I hope to achieve by working with this group?
- Why am I here?
- What do I need?
- What do the members of the group need?
- Are there skills that I can expand or learn by interacting with this group?
One of the main reasons to join or be active in a group is to help expand your exposure, connections, and referrals. To take a line out of the popular musical Hamilton, “People want to be in the room where it happens.”
Perhaps, you need to suggest to your committee members that they have a discussion to identify the specific needs of its members. I recommend to my clients that, each quarter, they take some time to write out a list of the organizations they are involved with, and assess whether it is meeting their needs. To help them determine what they need to do, I suggest they answer the following questions:
- Did you attend the meetings consistently?
- Did you for volunteer for assignments?
Volunteering offers wonderful opportunity to share experiences with people we normally would not encounter. Recently, a client shared with me how she met the CEO of an upscale skin care line at a networking event she attended for a nonprofit board she serves on. The two exchanged business cards, and in her follow-up email to the CEO, my client mentioned her upcoming trip to Paris. The CEO then replied by offering her a complimentary full day of treatment at his salon, while she was on her trip. This chance meeting at the nonprofit board event offered my client an opportunity that would not normally not have been extended. It is a classic example of what can happen when we interact with people outside of our comfort zone.
Minorities must think in terms of leveraging their volunteer efforts into opportunities, which can translate into their professional and personal growth. In short, givers need to get a return, based on the time and effort they put in.
Intuitive Life Strategist Sheree Franklin helps people to find the courage to release their life challenges in order to live in alignment with their true self. She is the author of Intuition: The Hidden Asset Everyone Should Learn to Use. To learn more about Sheree Franklin, visit her website.