A lot of times, I am asked; why volunteer? This is kind of a difficult question to answer for most, if you haven’t done it yourself. Then you might not get it. The best way to describe it; is a way to give back. I think all of us get to a point in our life where we feel that we are content in our life and there has to be more in life than just working. It also gives you a good feeling to know that what you are doing is helping others and going to a good cause.
Another reason for volunteering is the opportunity to honing your skills. “They” say that practice makes perfect and they’re right. As a photographer, I try and make a point to shoot every week, whether it is for fun or business. If I don’t, I start to feel stagnant and we know in time you can lose your edge. Plus, photographing gives me the opportunity to get out meet new people and see different things.
volunteering can give your career a boost, besides doing the right thing. Let’s say you for instance you would like to work for a particular company and need an in, because you have applied countless times. After some research, you discover that the company has a volunteer program. You apply for one of the volunteer positions and now you have your in. If you perform well, you are more than likely to be privy to career opportunities that outsiders are not. Also, since you have done good work, you have a champion that will hopefully put a good work in for you, when you apply for your dream job. Another path could be that you decide to volunteer for an organization and viola. The company you have been researching for jobs, just happens to be a sponsor and has a booth at one of the events, you are working at. You now have an obstructed path to speaking with someone within the company or you could happen to rub elbows with one of the VP’s, who are also donating his or her time.
If you are truly interested in doing volunteer work, start by doing some research. Find a cause you believe in and match it to an organization that fits. Be sure to do some investigative work and see if it aligns with your morals and ideas. There are websites such as VolunteerMatch, Idealist, HandsOn Network, or checkout you cities web-site or chamber of commerce that can help too..
I hope I have not bored you too much. I had a lot of fun writing this one like all of my blogs. I trust I have given you some valuable tips to think about, before planning your next shoot. It’s not all bad, just be clear and informative, it will save you a lot of headaches. Remember nothing is set in stone and there is not a perfect formula, so go out and have some fun.