Part of the Please don’t Volunteer – 9 part series
Why do you volunteer?
Do you feel it is your responsibility to contribute? Are you hoping to get something in return, such as win more business, improve your brand equity, or learn a new skill? Well, I have a suggestion: stop volunteering, your brand and your purpose depend on it!
Over the last ten years, I have not been a volunteer for my Professional Association, nor the YouMeWe Foundation. I have been a Professional Contributor.
In the following nine-part series, Please Don’t Volunteer, we will explore why you may not want to volunteer for your professional association or a community group, but rather professionally contribute to receive the most from your experience.
So please don’t volunteer – your purpose depends on it
Let’s start with why you shouldn’t volunteer
Without a doubt, volunteers are needed, and should be admired and celebrated! Expectations on them are limited, and performance does not equate to professional ability. Volunteers serve society in meaningful ways, by often filling a need in an area where they have limited expertise.
We have all have heard, and maybe even said: “We are ‘just’ volunteers.” What does that really mean? Don’t count on me; I will get to it; I will fit it in when it is convenient? Professional associations and many community groups require something more than people to “fit it in.” Many of these organizations wouldn’t be where they are today if people took an “I’m just a volunteer” attitude.“We are ‘just’ volunteers.” What does that really mean? #MyContributionCounts #YouMeWeMovement Click To Tweet
LET ME EXPLAIN … Professional Contribution
I have coined the term Professional Contribution. Being a volunteer or Professional Contributor suggests unpaid participation in a cause or an initiative with the intention to advance the mandate.
The primary differences between the two are embedded in expertise and attitude.
When you are a Professional Contributor:
- You are engaged in providing a specific skill/service where you have demonstrated expertise.
- You hold the same attitude toward your unpaid role as you would your professional role in your industry.
- You are accountable, and therefore deliver to the best of your ability on any promised task
To enhance your professional contribution experience, you will want to take into consideration your purpose. Your purpose is not a destination, but a direction of how you live your life. It takes into account the difference we want to make in the world. To optimize your life meaning and impact, give your energy, time, and expertise in line with that purpose.
Professional associations or community groups offer a variety of opportunities that need your capabilities and commitment. When selecting how to contribute, the opportunity that is most in-line with your purpose will keep you engaged through the ebbs and flows of your contribution.
What is your purpose?
So consider, what is your purpose? (If you don’t know, visit the earlier weWednesday series where we Explore your Why: http://youmewe.ca/why-explore-your-why/). What are your strengths? Which organization, charity, and/or not-for-profit would benefit from your skills?
Stop volunteering, as everything you hope to achieve by volunteering may be compromised if you aren’t adopting the profession contribution attitude, expertise, and professionalism.
Not convinced? Ask yourself what your objective is when you donate your time? The answer to that question will help make your decision on how, what, and where you want to contribute your energy and expertise. We will cover your contribution objectives in the next weWednesday video infusion.
What to consider:
- Why shouldn’t I volunteer?
- When should I professionally contribute?
- What would be the best organization to provide my energy, expertise, and time?
Until next time, make your contribution count.
Join us for weWednesday –a short weekly video infusion to make your contribution count • for you • your company • your community. Subscribe on the right to weWednesdays to receive it in your inbox, or find out more here.