It can be difficult to imagine having the time to add another role into an already busy day/week/month, but today, Volunteer Recognition Day, I urge you all to consider the wider benefits of becoming a volunteer.
I have long been an advocate for volunteering, but I sometimes, like many, need to remind myself why I am happy to give up precious time to do something that I don't get paid for:
I get to meet new people, often people I wouldn't meet in my day to day life - this helps me expand my network and values to make me a better person and therefore a better business, I understand more about the wider world than I would otherwise.
I learn new skills - volunteers are normally really happy to share their skills and to exchange services, meaning that I benefit on both fronts and can pass on my skills for the greater good too.
I am making a difference to someone - yes, it is the warm and fuzzy feeling you get when you help someone else, I love it.
You have a story to tell - ever been in a meeting and the air goes silent? That doesn't happen for me, I have a story, a journey and (see point 1) a deeper understanding of other people's views and fears which means I can tease information out of them and do my job better.
I am helping to build a better business community - by getting involved and telling my story so others get involved, I am part of something that is helping to build a network of better businesses. Therefore logic would state that if the whole business community gets better it becomes a better place for my business and my business, and customers, benefit too.
Now I am aware that all this sounds greedy and self-serving, but that is because it is very difficult to demonstrate the feeling all this volunteering gives you. I am a happier and more stable person, my mental health is better, simply by volunteering and giving some of myself away for free.
Feeling better means I do better, it is as simple as that. So find something you love, a cause, a group, hand out drinks at a marathon or collect prescriptions for the elderly, whatever you do I guarantee you will feel better and your business will benefit from that too!
There are lots of opportunities to be found here https://volunteersweek.org/ or contact your local council who will have a list too!