Volunteerism: The Vehicle for Driving Change in the Community
By Lori Jazvac.
National Volunteer Week takes place April 7-13, 2019. This year, we are celebrating “The Volunteer Factor – Lifting Communities”.
Volunteerism plays a vital role in our communities. The theme of this year’s celebration is a wonderful reminder that we can achieve significant milestones when we unite together to accomplish shared goals.
The documents in this campaign kit will help guide you in planning, promoting, and executing volunteer appreciation events that are successful.
There is more to volunteering than giving of one’s time and resources. Whether you volunteer for an association or champion your clients to get involved in community leadership and change initiatives, it can be a wonderful way to learn new things, gain a sense of empowerment, inspire team members, and enjoy a spirit of collaboration. Volunteerism is also a meaningful way to establish trusted relationships.
Volunteering in a particular area of interest is commonly where many people discover their passion while making a real difference in achieving, and even exceeding, shared goals. One of my colleagues found his first job in the career development industry through volunteering. He has been with the same organization for several years now, supporting jobseekers in achieving their career goals.
My first volunteer role was with the Canadian Red Cross, supporting blood donors during their visits and keeping important files organized. I had the privilege of seeing the true value and mission behind this humanitarian organization. Today, I continue to support the Canadian Red Cross in their disaster relief work, along with countless other individuals and organizations, including Career Professionals of Canada. In collaboration with the world’s largest humanitarian network, the International Red Cross and the Red Crescent Society, the Canadian Red Cross has been dedicated to improving the situation of vulnerable people around the world for over 120 years.
If you or your clients are seeking rewarding volunteer opportunities, here are some questions to ask before you get started:
- Identify where you want to make a valuable contribution. What organization or initiative do you want to support?
- What most interests you and how can you help in strengthening initiatives, programs, or service offerings?
- Have you assessed, and do you understand, your strengths and unique value?
- What goal(s) do you want to achieve by volunteering?
- What problem do you want to solve? This will provide focus and clarity.
- What benefits do you want to get out of volunteering?
- Do your values align with that organization? How? The more that your values are aligned with the volunteering organization, the more growth-focused and rewarding the volunteering experience will be.
- Are there any committees, groups, or boards that interest you?
- Do you want to volunteer on a short-term or long-term basis?
- Are you comfortable with taking risks? How big or small?
- How many hours per week do you want to devote? Do these hours include virtual support and/or in-person work?
My Volunteering Experience with CPC
When I entered the career development industry in 2013, CPC served as my primary support system. I built my professional network and enjoyed many member benefits. As a result of the generous support and guidance I was receiving, I felt a strong desire to get involved and start giving back. I started crafting articles and blogs to raise awareness, helped to plan and participated in events and career conferences, engaged in the Mastermind Mentoring Program and monthly tele-networking sessions, and submitted entries to the Awards of Excellence Program.
The Mastermind Mentoring Program allowed me to understand diverse perspectives from careerpros and gain thorough insights into the issues that impact the labour market, career professionals, and our clients. I uncovered relevant labour market trends, learned how to improve my services, and brainstormed with other career professionals on today’s most complex career development topics.
Benefits of Volunteering with CPC
If you want to truly make a difference in the career development community, consider becoming a dedicated volunteer of CPC.
Find out what other volunteers have to say about their volunteering experiences.
Becoming a CPC volunteer provides opportunities for you to collaborate with other like-minded professionals while developing new marketable skills and increasing your visibility. Become a valuable contributor by referring new members, joining various teams including the Ambassador Team, Communications Team, Social Media Team, and Tele-Networking Team.
The more effort that you put into leveraging your membership, the more you’ll be equipped to help your clients succeed. You will also benefit, personally and professionally, from engaging with a community of passionate career development practitioners. Check out the CPC member benefits. Let’s all drive change in our community together!