Volunteer in the Anchorage Community
There are so many options for being involved in our community, through professional associations, neighborhood organizations, arts and historic organizations and social service organizations. Volunteering is ultimately about helping others taking part in impacting people's welfare and happiness. Volunteering is the perfect conduit to develop a new skill or to discover a new talent. Volunteer settings allow you to learn strategic thinking and conflict resolution skills. You will learn about your community, about trends and concerns, about people and about resources--all of which can help you develop your leadership potential. Employers are often seeking well-rounded individuals who have good teamwork and goal setting skills. Planning and implementing a major fundraising event can develop goal setting, planning and budgeting skills. Serving on a volunteer committee or board is a great way to learn group dynamics and team work. Serving as a committee chair increases facilitation skills. Painting a mural or making banners could highlight your art talents. The possibilities are endless.
Volunteering brings together a diverse range of people from varied backgrounds. Both the recipients of your volunteer efforts and your fellow volunteers can be a valuable source of inspiration and networking. You will develop lasting personal and professional relationships. Not only is it a great way to learn about people from all walks of life, different environments, and new industries, but you can also hear about job openings, gather valuable employment information and develop great references.
In sum, volunteering is an excellent venue to experiment, practice, and test new techniques and skills. The opportunity to build your self-confidence through practice is offered. Furthermore, volunteering provides opportunities to observe others to determine best practices. Sometimes a volunteer experience can direct you to something you never thought about or help you uncover a new skill or interest. You can strengthen your personal/professional mission and vision by exploring opportunities and expanding your horizons.
---Adapted from “Ten Professional Development Benefits of Volunteering” (Everything I Learned in Life I Learned through Volunteering.) Mary V. Merrill, LSW, Merrill Associates