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Volunteering - Good for the "Soul" and your career

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As a UG Leader I know only too well the "volunteer" world. It is definitely not all "sweetness and light" but overall it provides an opportunity for personal satisfaction which is often hard to find in other ways.

It may be cliche to say it is about "giving something back" but for those of us who have been given the opportunity to do that, it is certainly part of the story. What better satisfaction is there than to know that others have given you that respect and trust?

A few days ago I was approached by the President of a local IT company asking if I could assist in finding some volunteer developers for a very worthwhile community project as part of their "Three Spheres of Reciprosity" program (http://www.jdq.com/3spheres). It suddenly struck me what a great position that a UG is in to try and do that. VANTUG has a fairly large email list (600+) which represents a huge diversity and depth of talent.

My appeal to our members was along the lines of volunteering is good for the "soul", getting a job and putting on your resume and I am pleased to say that we do have some candidates. This is one of those "win, win" situations. It may help the individual volunteers. I get to feel "good" (important to me:)) and the UG gets important positive publicity, which is always valuable from a sponsorship standpoint.

So why this blog? No it isn't to make me feel even better. It is to commend JDG for their efforts and to try and encourage more companies to do the same. I am quite sure that JDG also see it as a "win, win" since it must be great PR for them and at the same time they also get to feel "good".

So if you cannot muster all of the volunteer resources from within your own organization for a pro bono project, contact your local UG and ask them for help!

Graham Jones
President, VANTUG

Comments
  • Your blog resonates with me. Volunteerism is the heart of our passion for community,  helping and supporting others. It’s the defacto credo for Microsoft MVPs too. Keep up the fine work, Graham!

    Cheers,
    Stephen Ibaraki


  • Well, okay it's good for the soul to volunteer but there are a lot of other "selfish" reasons to do so:

    1. Nobody works at the same company for 30 years anywhere. Soooooo... one day you are going to need a network, and believe, your ex-coworkers aren't going to do it for you. And it's WAY easier to "fall back" on your network then building up one from scratch.

    2. I never realized how underpaid I was (at my old job) until I started to network among CIPS (Canadian Information Processing Society).

    3. Do you really think the good jobs are on Monster.com or are they spread by word-of-mouth?

    4. It's much better to volunteer your time as a Project Manager at a non-profit and really see if you want to be a manager, then take a paying job and find out you hate it.

    5. Free food. Occasionally free booze. Evenings out drinking while telling your better half that it's for your career.

    6. If you work really hard at a volunteer org, maybe they will let you have a fancy title like "director" "big kahuna" "Wondrous doer of marvellous things" etc.

    Ahh, there's more but whatever. And hey, if you feel like volunteering now, just remember that www.vancouver.cips.ca is always looking for people.

    cheers, DJ Dunkerley
    Director of Programs, CIPS Vancouver

  • DJ,

    There's magic in your words ... nice contribution and fun too! :-)

    There's so much to CIPS ... hmmm, I should blog about who CIPS is...

    Cheers,
    Stephen

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