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Make It Happen Tipsheet
Career Management and Life Balance

Community Involvement - Personal Benefit

Who are those individuals who organize charitable events, act as fundraisers, and sit on not-for-profit boards? How do they find the time, when the challenge of Balance means that time is at an all-time premium? In addition to the "feel-good" that comes from helping others, there are some importance benefits that might make you consider investing your time in this type of activity.

Sometimes, when we think of "Life Balance", the problem isn't too much work, but rather, too little life. If you get involved with a not-for-profit organization that is meaningful to you, you accomplish several objectives:

  • Personal diversification, beyond work and family.
  • Networking
  • Learn and demonstrate additional technical skills (which you can bring back to your job)

This last point is probably the most important. Most people first learn while at school, then learn on-the-job - and that's it. Taking on a community responsibility provides another invaluable source of intellectual enrichment.

The difference between those who get involved and those who don't is simple: those who are involved are already reaping huge personal benefits, while those who aren't involved have yet to figure this out.

How to start: if you have a particular affinity to a group (health-related, community, religious, etc), give them a call, and ask if they are looking for volunteers. Decide whether you would like to be involved on a continuing basis, or on a specific intiaitive, such as an event. Think about whether you would like to lend a hand as an organizer, or be involved at the grass-roots, hands-on. Usually their web site has detailed information about the organization, it's goals, and contact details

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Make It Happen
Copyright 2006 Knowledge to Action Press and Randall Craig. All rights reserved. Publication date: May 16, 2006