50 ROCKS: KIND

My inbox is flooded with folks seeking career change advice, many who want to shift into a role doing more of what they love. In addition to getting crystal clear on your strengths, I’ve found a secret ingredient that belongs on your resume: Kindness. Why not reach out to your favorite charity and volunteer to help? Many organizations are desperately in need of exactly what you have to offer!

Volunteering is a great way to not only feel good as a giver: you’ll gain meaningful practice working in your zone of genius that can then be included in your resume and LinkedIn profile.

FastCompany published a great article on why you should perhaps even SUSPEND your job hunt and invest the time volunteering to grow valuable relationships this holiday season. They suggest that circling back with your new volunteer friends could be even more productive (and keep you out of the clutter) just after the New Year. CLICK HERE to read more…

Not sure where to donate your time, talent and treasure? Pick something you are passionate about. Reach out to local chambers of commerce, hospitals, shelters or other groups that proudly serve others and see what’s on their schedule of events. In the past, we’ve taken the Boy Scouts to prepare meals at a homeless shelter and serve holiday dinners at an urban soup kitchen. I’ve donated clothing and done fundraisers for women’s shelters.

One of my favorite annual charity events involves preparing 300+ Thanksgiving meal baskets for needy folks in Bergen County as part of the Meadowlands Regional Chamber of Commerce’s Basket Brigade. Not only are we helping families enjoy a more normal holiday, but I get to give alongside fellow entrepreneurs, executives and THEIR families. My hubby comes, too.

Volunteering puts a more human side to our business relationships and reminds us all to be grateful for our abundance. A win-win-win.

HINT: I used this approach to volunteer as social media/marketing lead for my golf league. Why? By helping as a volunteer, I gained great practice learning the craft with a nonprofit group that was grateful for the support. There was no performance anxiety that might be associated with “learning on someone else’s dime” and I built up a tremendous success record that lives in my portfolio. The Women’s Golf Association of NJ was at ~300 members then, and now has exploded to 637 members and counting in just a few years. Again, a win-win-win!

What are you wishing you could do more of in your career? Or how has volunteering impacted your career and your life? Please share so we can all learn…thanks. Happy Holidays!