Over the weekend I discussed with some friends to do my next blog post on Fireball (lol), but figured something a little more uplifting/detoxifying is probably better-suited for all of our New Year's resolutions still intact.
Like I listed last week, I had a lot of accomplishments and learnings over the last year. Which was awesome! All in all, my resolution last year was to at the end of the day, in no matter what context of a goal I was hoping to reach, to have the end result "well with my soul." Doing well, doing good and living life to its fullest makes my soul happy.
One of the biggest ways I accomplished this was by devoting more of my time and energy to a non-profit. I joined Komen's Board of Directors, sat on committees and attended more meetings than normal, to really get involved more with this group, and to feel personally involved in the change this organization makes in people's lives.
A lot of friends in the mid-twenty-somethings crowd think they're either too young to get involved, don't have enough experience, knowledge, monetary giving ability, whatever. But that is absolutely false. I believe even more so that your twenties are a great time to give your time. Giving can lead to an overwhelming sense of receiving, and doesn't that sound better than falling into a quarter-life crisis? Here's what to remember when debating if you can devote more time to non-profits and causes bigger than you:
You have free time
Whether you'd like it or not, "free time" is much more abundant when you're young in the workforce. Even if you're working more hours a week than a normal post-grad, chances are you have more time than you think that you could be donating to a cause that means something to you. Instead of binging on your latest Netflix obsession after work every night this week, you could look into volunteer opportunities available to you. The reward can be just as great as your favorite show's season finale!
It's an escape for your normal 9-5
The whole Monday-Friday, 9-5 ordeal can be tiring, and sometimes draining. A great way to escape the post-grad career blues can be found through volunteering. After a tough day in the office, going to help those in need is sure to be rewarding and uplifting. Get through the long work weeks by having something outside the office to look forward to. And it's always a plus if your company gives you volunteer hours or credit for giving your time!
You get to use your talents in a new environment
For me, I was a journalism major and now work in marketing. So I jump at opportunities that allow me to use talents I already have like event planning, media planning and advertising initiatives. Things I work on in my real-life job, but can also help with outside the office. It's a great way to get experience that can help the non-profit you're working with, and add to your career resume as fun, rewarding jobs you've helped complete, outside of work hours (which is sure to look fantastic to potential employers in your next interview!)
Time can be just as valuable as money
Non-profits always need money. There's always a goal to raise more money because in the end, that means being able to help more people, animals, whatever the cause may be. But a great thing to remember in our younger years when money isn't always overflowing, is that our time can be just as valuable. Giving a few hours on the weekend to help volunteer at a local charity event, attending committee meetings for a cause close to your heart; these all can be ways where donating doesn't have to mean money.
Doing good feels good
This is the best and easiest explanation. Doing good for others feels so, so good. Nothing is better than helping those in need, and especially when you feel like you really, personally helped. Whether it's handing out lunches in a soup kitchen, helping write the organization's monthly newsletter, or any aspect of volunteering that you can give, you're destined to leave a better person than you came. When looking for New Year's resolutions, is there an outcome any better than that?
Go out and do good in the world, team! I know you can.
P.S. It just wouldn't be write to publish a post on January 7 and not acknowledge by BFF of like 16 years! Happy Birthday, Whitters! It's because of friends like you that I'm who and where I am today.