During our series on creating the career you want, we have focused our attention on you. We’ve talked about things that you can do to build your portfolio of skills, promote your personal brand, and make your endeavors visible. While these are key components to creating your career, giving back to others is also important. As you are helping others, there are many benefits you may experience yourself. You may gain insights and a greater understanding of the community you work and live in. Getting involved with a cause or a community could open the door to new relationships that might be helpful in your career. Giving back can add dimension to your personal brand as you enjoy new experiences and expand your personal story repertoire. Notice how giving back makes you feel: Does it put a smile on your face? Does it make you feel good about yourself? Does it help you keep your career challenges in perspective? As you’re building your career, remember to give back.
Begin by finding a way to tap into your values and interests, and identify an individual, group, or cause that you want to help. Find someone – or something – that you care about or that ignites a passion, and then dig in. Does the idea of mentoring the next generation excite you? What about helping women who are reentering the workforce, working with a local non-profit, building a house with Habitat for Humanity, or volunteering at an animal shelter? Research organizations that are championing your chosen interest, and then find out how you can help. Or, make it personal. Reach out to a person or a group and offer to help them, independent of any organization. Once you’ve found a cause, decide what you want to give. Classic ways to give back include giving your time, sharing a talent or skill, and donating monetarily. You can start small or start big, but the important thing is that you start.
More information on this tip, and others, can be found in Lead Your Way: Practical Coaching Advice for Creating the Career You Want