Volunteer Work: Power-Up Your Potential

Apr 03 2019

The words “volunteer work” bring to mind charity, service, and giving back to the community; all worthy pursuits. In addition to bettering the lives of others and adding meaning to our own lives in the process, volunteering our time and talent also presents opportunities to grow our personal and professional potential.

Becoming an Influence Leader

DeVona White Cottrell

Less than a year after joining my company, I volunteered to Co-Chair our multicultural administrative resources group and I ended up in the leadership role for several years. The opportunity allowed me to stretch and grow my leadership skills. I formed and developed life-long relationships at all levels of the company and I became a formal and informal mentor to many. I also picked up sponsorships in the process. The experience is one of the reasons I’m still tapped today. I became an Influence Leader in the organization. – DeVona Wright Cottrell, Director & Associate General Counsel

My Leadership Journey

Cecelia Gore

I have served on numerous nonprofit boards. These experiences outside of the workplace have been extremely helpful to me in my leadership journey. Chairing a board or committee, leading a capital campaign–volunteering in some capacity–allows you to stretch and grow in ways that your current employment experience may not. – Cecelia Gore, Executive Director

a foot in the door

Deb Cooksey

I had a young woman volunteer her time to our organization so she could learn our industry and get her foot in the door. She soon became an invaluable part of our team and a paid employee when we were able to increase our headcount. – Deborah Cooksey, Associate General Counsel

If you need a fresh dose of inspiration, want to broaden your networks, build new skills, or explore new career paths, volunteering on a board or committee can open up new fields of possibility.

Tips For Volunteers
  • Chose an organization that sparks your curiosity and passion
  • Find out expectations for volunteers so you fully understand your commitment
  • Show up regularly, energetically, and professionally
  • Seek roles and responsibilities outside of your typical comfort zone
  • Track your hours, projects, and outcomes for future reference and updating your resume
  • Download Building Brave’s Mobile Mentoring app for more advice from professional women at all ages and stages. Get guidance for your specific situation, or consider fresh voices and perspectives

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About the Author

Meghan Wollack

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