February 17, 2011
Charity at Work
Between a demanding career, a personal life and being a multitasking maven, free time can seem like a luxury. However, making time to volunteer and help others can have a tremendous impact on your leadership skills – and your life.
Despite her high-powered job as Vice President at MetLife in Individual Distribution, Diane Brennan has been a hospice volunteer for the last three years, mostly visiting with individuals in the final stages of their terminal disease and their families.
"While many think volunteering takes time from my career, it actually makes me a better leader," says Brennan. She adds that nights at hospice have brought her respect from coworkers and taught her
the importance of listening, that time is a gift and how everyone needs a support system. “We all get caught up in hectic schedules, multitasking and wondering where the time goes. My volunteer work has taught me to slow down.”
Find your charity:
A recent German study found a definite positive relationship between the amount of time spent volunteering and the participants' satisfaction, work performance and amount of learning experiences.
Experts say volunteering shows the boss you can succeed in different environments. It teaches about motivating others without a monetary incentive, how to keep meetings concise and ways to better prioritize needs at work and at home.
Local directories within the Hands on Network and United Way list volunteer opportunities relevant to your career that fit your schedule.
Bonus PINK Link: Find out the benefits of your core business being linked to a good cause.
By Muriel Vega
"We often take for granted the very things that most
deserve our gratitude." Cynthia Ozick