Volunteers provide their time and talent to help a great number of different causes. So, why is it so many of them appear to hate what they do?
When you are employed you may not like the job you have and until you find a replacement career, you really need to just bit your tongue and hang in there until things change or improve. but, as a volunteer, you can leave at anytime.
To be a volunteer is to give of yourself, but if you don’t enjoy it and it reflects in your communication with others, you should consider finding a different organization that would welcome your skills.
If you do not have patience for example, you probably should not volunteer to help children with their homework. If dressing up and performing in public is not your cup of tea, you probably don’t want to audition for local theatre or join your local pirate’s club. If you don’t like pets, don’t volunteer for Cat’s Angels or the Nassau County Humane Society. Liking your pet is not the same as liking ALL pets.
Maybe you have an aching desire to make a difference in the lives of battered and abused women, but you have no intrepersonal skills whatsoever? You can still volunteer for an administrative role. Stuffing envelopes, filing, organizing supplies for a shelter and keeping them active on Facebook and Twitter are roles you can fill without compromising your personality.
Like anything, when it becomes a burden or a chore it loses its excitement and its meaning. All members of my family volunteer in our community, yes, even the children and I firmly believe everyone should at least give it a try. But how do you find where you belong?
First ask youself, “What do I want to do with my spare time?” Do you like to design clothing or paint walls? Consider volunteering at the local theatre. Do you like to read? Consider volunteering for a senior advocate center or the local nursing homes. Once you know what you want to do, simply ask your friends and neighbors if they know of an organization that could use your skills. Look in the phone book or call you local Chamber of Commerce. Look online for community business directories or call the local newspaper. Check with the library and ask around at church.
Organizations that are looking for volunteers make themselves rather easy to find. Always remember, if you do not like the organization once you are on the “inside”, simply move on to something you enjoy. There are too many places that need you, your time and your talent for you to not find a place to share these skills. Trust me, you will get as much from helping them, as they will from you!