Giving Back as the Holidays Approach

Giving back can not only benefit your company and those you are helping, but it can help you and your career.

With the holidays approaching, many people may be looking for opportunities to give back. What they may not realize is how their community service also could be helping their careers. A recent survey says more than four in 10 (41 percent) U.S. professionals said they volunteer outside of work. Respondents said their philanthropic activities help them improve their sense of well-being and effectiveness at the office (61 percent), expand their network (57 percent), develop new skills (49 percent), and enhance their company's visibility (35 percent).

It doesn't matter who you are or what your position is within your company or organization, giving can be receiving. More male (45 percent) than female professionals (37 percent) said they volunteer outside of work. Greater numbers of workers ages 18-34 (49 percent) reported donating their time than colleagues ages 35-54 (35 percent).

Tips for getting started:

Find an organization in need. Search for organizations you care about in your community, and then contact them to see how they could use your help. Be sure to explain your particular skills and interests. Check with your employer. Many companies have ties to nonprofit organizations or facilitate charitable activities. Other companies offer volunteer matching or grant programs for those employees who give their time. Invite your colleagues to join you. One person can make a big impact, but there could be power in numbers if your coworkers come, too. Look beyond the holidays. There are community service opportunities available throughout the year, such as park cleanups and exercising for a good cause

Make sure you enjoy the entire experience, and have a great Thanksgiving!

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