So.. you’ve been asked to volunteer– and it happens to me alot because I’m outgoing, do a great amount of public speaking and can be pretty darn frank when it comes to communicating.
Here are some thoughts to ponder before responding to the invite-
1. What is my motivation for volunteering? Is it another excuse to get out of the house? Am I trying to impress someone who works for that organization? OR- duh, do I really want to help this particular organization or person?
2. Time? Do you really have the time to commit? Will it go on your resume but you’ll never be able to actually attend any functions or participate on any committees?
3. Money- Can this organization take my money instead of my time? What is it that they expect from me?
4. Organization expectations- Are they expecting loads of time, strategic planning and intense effort requiring 20 hours a week? Are they really seeking a networker and cheerleader that can bring other people into the fold to give a much smaller amount of time? Are they looking for perfection? Are deadlines a matter of life or death?
These are all valid questions.. and certainly, there are more. This is something that I’m invested in.. both at my alma mater and my professional association. However, I am very honest with these folks. If I can’t do it.. I can’t do it. I communicate very clearly about my time constraints (family, house, full-time job). I expect the same back from their leadership.