By Alyssa GregoryI’m a big believer in giving back by donating your time and expertise to your community and your industry. Volunteering can have a number of benefits — helping others, enhancing your skills, becoming active in your community, and creating a sense of achievement. But giving back can also help your career and business. While I wouldn’t recommend volunteering solely for the business benefits, here are some of the areas where you may see value from your efforts.
You can develop new relationships.
Getting out there and volunteering in your community puts you in a great position to meet new people who you may not otherwise meet. These relationships are not only good for networking, but they also help you to create a group of people to consult with outside of your immediate business network.
It can broaden your experience.
Even if you donate time doing something you do everyday, volunteering provides an opportunity to work on something new with new people in a new place. You get to see more and experience more, and you never know where you might learn a new skill, discover a new way to do something or expand your knowledge in some other valuable way.
It provides indirect marketing exposure.
Sometimes the best marketing is marketing that happens naturally. This can happen when you are focused on a task, especially one that involves collaboration and teamwork.
It’s good for your reputation.
If you work for yourself, everything you do, on and off the job, impacts your business reputation. Giving back is one way to position yourself in a good light. When you spend time and effort for the betterment of others, you are telling clients, potential clients and colleagues that you are empathetic to those around you.
It makes you more well-rounded.
Volunteering makes you well-rounded, as a person and a business owner. And when you volunteer for the right reasons (and realize all of the benefits listed here are really just peripheral to the main purpose of giving back), you just may become a better person.