Employment services for job seekers and employers in Oregon

The Value of Giving Back to the Community You Serve

Our Experts | Claudia Hamilton, Albany Branch Manager

Giving back to the community you serve is a fulfilling use of your time and skills, both personally and professionally. While many volunteers are doing what they love after retiring from their career, I think volunteering around your career is one of the best things you can do for yourself.

giving back to the community you serve

I’ve found from my own experience that being a volunteer is another way to network with like-minded people. When you sign up for a committee, fundraiser or professional group, you are giving your time to something important close to home, but you’re also collaborating with people of all ages and industries. You never know who you will meet!

When you are looking to branch out your network, find an organization that speaks to your interests, and the skills you have or the ones you want to improve on. Within that organization you are sure to meet people who share your values and that you can build genuine relationships with. Being a teammate and working towards a common goal is a great way to create long-lasting relationships on a personal level, and those can easily transition into business relationships.

When I first moved into my city, I didn’t know many people. I still didn’t have many connections three years later. In recruitment, you are always prospecting, and during this time it was a lot of cold prospecting for me. Then I began to donate my time and strengthen my ties to my community. I took on many roles: Vocational Chair of Rotary to fight polio, an Ambassador Chair for the local Chamber of Commerce, Vice President of the Timberhill Tennis Club and Sponsorship Chair for the local Human Resources Association.

After I had joined so many committees, these connections turned into business contacts. Not all of them were directly going to work with me, but they had great business advice and were able to introduce me to their connections. In turn, I was giving advice to younger members. I finally had a solid footing in the community.

giving back to the community

Not only does it feel good to do good, but I was using my established recruitment skills in my volunteer roles. I once aligned my career skills into my volunteer work to hold a career event for high schoolers with resume reviews and mock interviews. At the same time, it was fun and rewarding, and I walked away with better contacts from it.

Usually, when people think of volunteering, networking isn’t the first benefit that comes to mind. But volunteering provides a valuable arena to grow your skills, build relationships, meet warm leads and become closer to your community. Give back, and you will get back.

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