Despite how it feels at times, most people reading this blog post don’t do blue light emergencies. They don’t make daily decisions about life and death. Even though, sometimes, the pressure can feel like they do.
With that in mind, perspective is important.
There are many ways to find it and volunteering is one. It’s an opportunity to discover not only perspective but also the value of your work as well as your potential.
Perspective can come from looking at what we do from another person’s point of view. And that’s difficult to do from behind a client document, a project plan or a budget line. Walk in someone else’s shoes, tread their paths and breathe their world to discover more about your own.
But that takes time.
Where do we find time for lunch, let alone volunteering? I’m fortunate enough to work for an organization that has made it possible to do it on work’s time. And not only made it possible to volunteer on work’s time, but actively encouraged me to do so. We’re being paid to find perspective, to do something for ourselves, and, importantly, something for others
Outside of my role as Content and Strategy Director of This Machine by Agent3, I am Chair of Trustees of the Cleft Lip and Palate Association (CLAPA). In this voluntary role, I dedicate 2-3 hours a week to CLAPA through calls with the CEO, sub-committees and other commitments. Most of these meetings take place outside of working hours, but there are full-day events which I need to attend. In previous businesses, I have had to take leave or miss the events I should be attending. At Agent3 it’s different.
I recently took a volunteering day to attend a Visible Difference Workshop, attended by other charities, and I’ve booked another volunteering day for our AGM and Trustee strategy day in September. All fully funded and supported by Agent3.
Having that support has enabled me to create value, drive innovation and network for a community and charity I have dedicated over seven years to. I’m able to do something invaluable for my chosen charity during work time.
If you don’t want to take advantage of this for yourself – to develop new skills, to challenge your views and discover a new and healthy perspective of what we do as a business – then do it for others.
If your altruism begins on the company wage, then that, from the perspective of someone who is Chair of a charity that relies on the amazing commitment from volunteers, is great. The two days that we get offered through the Agent3 scheme could, seriously, change a life. If those two days lead to a few more over a year, then that would be amazing.
Volunteering can also change your life too, maybe even your career. You can do things on those volunteer days that can bring colour and value to your CV: from leadership to collaboration, from building homes to packing feeding kits. You can discover new skills and your potential to do new, more challenging tasks. The value that can be found from volunteering extends not only to the charity you contribute to, but to you too. A mix of altruism and self-interest is fine as long as you commit yourself to the charity and create that real value for both of you.
Discover what else you can achieve at Agent3. Are you looking for fresh opportunities? Do you want to make a difference to a business and your community? Drop us a line to find out more at firstname.lastname@example.org