We are all at different stages in our lives, but I believe that learning should be a life-long habit no matter the stage or age. "Do Something Different" is my personal mantra to explore and create a richer, more rewarding life. The saying goes, "you can't get a different result by doing the same thing", so this is my challenge to you - join me and do something different. My "do something different" was to get out of my comfort zone at work, and I did just that a few years ago by taking a leap and volunteering for a board position with a professional women's organization. I had no idea what I was getting myself into, but the result was a wonderful surprise: I won the election, developed new skills to add to my resume, and gained new friends and colleagues I can now call on.
If you decide to take this challenge, here are some things to consider:
- Set expectations for what you can do - never over promise and under deliver.
- For those new to volunteering - take it slow - don't leap in for president until you know the organization and its culture. Take an administrative role to learn the logistics (and politics) of the organization.
- Bring your talents to the role but also stretch to learn something new.
- Talk with your manager about your volunteer position - you will need her support to be fully engaged.
- Know the benefits of why you are volunteering and how it will enhance your skills.
- Relationships are the keys to success - make solid connections and demonstrate your skills and talents. Not only will you have a network to call on but also built in references.
|Stacey Young Rivers|
Assess your bandwidth before jumping in. While you have the ability to wow your new colleagues, likewise, you can bomb miserably if you are not careful. Be self-aware, and only take on what you can handle. Communicate often if you will not meet deadlines and make a contingency plan to keep the project/event on track. Everyone knows "life happens", but it’s how you handle it that counts.
So, get out of your comfort zone - this is an opportunity to do something different and really see what you can accomplish.