You’ve probably heard it before, “If you’re going to spend so many years working, you’d better be serving in a position that you love.”
But what if there’s more to love about your career than just the position you hold?
What if you could enrich your career by participating in activities after you leave the office?
They may involve skills related to your chosen career, and more importantly, reflect the areas and causes that are important to you.
This is especially true if you’re serving in a higher-level position. In many positions, you are expected by your colleagues and peers to serve your community.
You are expected to increase your visibility within the communities that rely on you as a business leader.
Participating in local community and civic groups is awesome. You can enrich your career by following these few simple steps.
1. Realize Your Passions
What are you really interested in beyond your position?
Do you hold a deep passion for a specific cause?
Find that passion which fans your flame. You’ll know it when you feel it. Maybe you’re passionate about kids, veterans’ affairs, or medical-related causes such as cancer or autism.
Whatever it is, take it and run with it.
2. Find Groups With Similar Passions
Next, find a group within your local business community or community at large with similar passions.
The good thing is that whatever your passion might be, there is probably a group for you.
If there isn’t a group within your immediate vicinity, you can always learn more about a local service organization such as the Kiwanis, Rotary or Lions Club.
At least one of them would have a presence in your area.
Using your local Chamber of Commerce as a resource to find other local nonprofits and community groups is also a great way to learn more about other local groups.
3. Don’t Shy Away From Networking
Connecting with people is so important. Perhaps the best way to broaden your career scope outside your office is to connect, connect, connect.
Expanding your social circle allows you to gain new perspectives from new people outside the office.
Learn more about the resources they could provide to your own enterprise, and possibly your own career.
And who knows? Perhaps you’ll be able to connect with them on a personal front, and from that, develop your social circle as well.
It’s also entirely possible that you already have a healthy social circle that you’ve developed throughout your career.
If this is the case
Leverage those connections to develop your relationship with an organization.
Maybe you know someone who heads an organization you like or serves on the board.
Maybe somebody knows someone else.
Use the connections you already have to create opportunities for yourself in other organizations.
4. Volunteer for Community Service Projects
As you become more involved in the community, you will most likely be presented with more opportunities to become involved with community service projects and initiatives.
My advice? Do it. It’s a wonderful way to give back, and you also feel great that you took part in making a difference.
The service organizations I mentioned before frequently engage in such activities, as do other local organizations such as churches and civic groups.
Just as there are endless opportunities to get involved in community organizations, there are just as many volunteering opportunities.
Take advantage of them! Trust me, it’ll do wonderful things for your career, your outlook, and your overall well-being.
5. Make Financial Contributions
Granted, not everyone has the capacity to contribute financially.
But if your pockets run deep and your generosity runs deeper, a fantastic way to increase your profile within your business community is to donate to causes and organizations that are relevant to you.
Sometimes people do this if they haven’t the time nor the ability to be physically present, but they still want to make a difference.
Thinking About Ways to Enrich Your Career
In the past few years, a mantra I've held near and dear to my heart is this:
- "Life is short, and a career is even shorter."
Think about it for a moment. You spend only one-third of your life actually working.
Don't you think you owe it to yourself to have a career you love? Why not enhance the scope of your career with outlets for your interests and passions?
It’s the key to the city. It’s the difference between having a 9-to-5 job and a fruitful career.
Give freely of yourself and your career will give to you in return.