Have you ever considered taking on something outside of your regular work or leisure time? More young professionals are seeing the immense value of joining an organization or activity that bridges the gap between their full time jobs and lying on the couch watching Netflix. And more employers look for that well-rounded person when hiring.
Being on a board or volunteering are great ways to get exposure, extra experience, and feel more fulfilled in our lives. But time is precious, as we all know, and it’s hard to commit to anything outside of our norm. So what leaps should you take into the extracurricular? Here are some tips.
Sitting on a board. This is the quasi ‘golden ticket’ of extracurricular activities. It instantly lifts your credibility, increases your network, and is unlike any other kind of experience. From non-profits to condo boards, all are valuable experiences. Look locally and ask your network if they know of any openings. Try your passion areas, like the arts or sports, for smaller opportunities that will help you grow.
Volunteering. Volunteering can have many meanings. Homeless or less fortunate institutions most commonly come to mind, and are especially nice to commit to. But there are other ways to volunteer as well that not just fulfill your soul but help your career. Does your organization have any internal organizations you can lend a hand to?
Joining/creating a committee. Are you good at something? Of course you are. What about joining, or better yet starting a group or committee about what you love? A social media group, an interior design club, or what about a network of likeminded people in your field? My friends and I created a writing group where we critiqued each other’s novel ideas and gave homework assignments. It was great learning and lots of fun – jazzing up a typical evening we’d spend together anyway.
There are other cool things to try, and you won’t know what’s out there until you explore. Meet Ups or even local bulletin boards at coffee shops will tell you about events you can go to where… who knows where they’ll lead. For me, I am on a board for the arts (that I found out about through a coworker), volunteer my time around holidays (I know I should do more), and have committee meetings every 6 weeks or so for my writing group.
Have fun with it and share what organizations you want to join/have joined, in the comments!