Around the holidays I am overwhelmed, not with over spending on presents, but knowing that millions of people in this world are in need. To bring my life some peace, I volunteer.
For the past four years, I have volunteered with various organizations and during the holidays I go above and beyond. I have given my time and monetary gifts, but it has always been the opportunities where I can provide my skills and expertise that are most rewarding.
I have found sharing my skills and expertise in public relations has been very rewarding when volunteering. As a bonus, my volunteer efforts have added to my professional development. Volunteering has not only made me a better person but a better colleague, mentor, and employee.
Discovering volunteer opportunities that require certain skills can let you make a difference and impact your professional development. Here are some ways to identify those opportunities:
1. List professional and personal skills that you possess and identify community programs that could use those skills. For instance, if you are a graphic designer you could volunteer to design a nonprofit’s gala program book or community service campaign.
2. Search for volunteer opportunities related to your future career goals. For instance, if your dream job is to be a vice president of marketing you could volunteer with the American Marketing Association (AMA). Not only will you be able to surround yourself with marketers, you will have access to job opportunities.
3. Look for opportunities that allow you to volunteer in a variety of ways. This will allow you to try out different roles and learning a variety of skills. You never know when a volunteer opportunity may turn into new passion that defines your future.
Volunteer work does more than just help with professional development. It also gives you a perspective on the world. As you begin to see what other people are suffering through, you will see your own life differently.
To learn more about volunteer opportunities around the world, check out Volunteers of America.
About the Author:
Tiffany Young is the manager of public relations for American Public University System. She has more than seven years of experience in media relations, event management, and public relations. She earned a certificate in Public Relations from the University of Virginia School of Continuing and Professional Studies and received a B.A. in Mass Communications from Virginia State University.
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