The Power of Volunteering.

by Deborah on January 6, 2011

I love my HR association meetings in January. You see a lot of new faces, connect with old friends, and there’s a lot of excitement in the air. New year. New opportunities. A fresh new start.

Tuesday night’s SMA South Florida meeting (a SHRM special interest chapter that focuses on recruitment and retention issues) was especially meaningful because as their District Director, I was honored with the task of inducting the new officers. All those happy faces with their right hands held high in the air – promising to uphold the by-laws and be true to the members they serve. Each year some of the faces may change, but the passion is always there and it’s a picture that stays with me for a long time.

I clearly remember the first time I was inducted on to a board – WOW. I was a bit apprehensive now that I think about it. I had no clue what to expect, or what to do. Little did I know that I was about to experience professional and personal growth beyond my wildest dreams. And little did I know that I would meet some of the most wonderful people who would become the kind of friends that you just can’t live without. Of course…like everything else in life, you get out of it what you put into it.

If you’re reading this and you are a job seeker – you know you’re supposed to be out there networking right? Nervous about networking and talking to people you don’t know? Volunteer. Get on a committee. You’ll make instant friends with others who are probably just as skittish about the whole thing as you are – and you’ll help the community. It’s win win.

So my advice is simple. If you’ve ever thought about getting involved with your local association or community service organization, there is no time like the present. Volunteer and give back to an organization that you are passionate about, because what you will get in return will far exceed what you give (yes, even if you’re answering all of those darn e-mails way past your bedtime).

If you have a great volunteering story to share, I’d love it hear it!

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