Volunteer? Who, me?

As we launch into this new decade, many of us will turn our attention to our long terms goals. What did the last 10 years bring us and what are we hoping to achieve in the next 10.  When we ponder this question for long enough, we all come to the same conclusion: what am I doing in the world that will really make a difference? 

First of all, let's start with some stats: Organisational analytics company, Gallup reminds us regularly that nearly 70 percent of employees are actively disengaged. As digital natives enter our workforce, millennials climb the corporate ladder and Generation Xers are still hanging in there, generational differences, and the shift in leadership styles, continue to make the media headlines—revealing to all of us in our working prime, that the only thing we can really count on in this volatile, uncertain, complex and ambiguous world, is change.

The quest for keeping on top of the competition whilst serving our shareholders to be as profitable as we can means that some workplaces become soulless places, cutting costs in some of the most important places. In fact, a recent study by CareerBuilder.com shows that a huge 58% of managers said they didn’t receive any management training. 

Just reflect on that for a second. Most managers in the workforce were promoted because they were good at what they did, but not necessarily good at encouraging and coaching the people around them. This statistic obviously unveils a harsh reality. We have a bunch of leaders who potentially are not formally trained on how to lead!

There are many solutions to this problem, that I don’t have the expertise or in depth knowledge to go into – so I’m just going to focus on one….Volunteering. 

Volunteering is a brilliant way to build on your existing skills, and to learn new skills in a safe and supportive environment, especially here at PWN Global. 

Much of our broad community of newsletter subscribers and many people who sign up to be a member in one of PWN Global’s local city networks, don’t always realise that our network is led wholly by volunteers. That means, the PWN Global Federation Board, and all of the Board members in our local city networks, run our business on a volunteer basis outside of their busy day jobs. 

Speak to anyone and they will tell you that working in a volunteer role with PWN has enabled them to hone their skills to a point that it has afforded them a career change, a promotion or even a role that they never dared apply for in the past. 

Gunilla BjornerPWN Global’s Co-VP Coproate Partners, Gunilla Bjorner says ‘My volunteer role is both challenging and at the same time very rewarding: I get to work with companies who are determined to make gender balance happen – and I get to do it together with my very talented colleagues. We learn from one another, forge firm friendships and improve our careers – whilst getting that feeling of well-being from making a positive difference in the world.’

Unlike the pressurized situation that you can often find yourself in when your company has spent training budget on you, volunteering is free and allows you to learn at your own pace, surrounded by willing supporters who can share their experiences and coach you into moving outside of your comfort zone. 

On top of enhancing your career, volunteering can also:

  1. Connect you to others
  2. Support your physical and mental well being
  3. Bring fun and fulfillment to your life

So, here’s the nub of it:

  1. Do you believe that gender balanced leadership is the morally right, but also profitable thing to do?
  2. Do you want to make a difference and bring a sense of purpose to your life?
  3. Do you want the opportunity to work with talented individuals who support you in honing your skills or learning something new in a safe, professional environment?
  4. Do you want to access what is effectively free leadership training? 

If you answer yes to all of the above questions, we invite you to visit our Volunteer Opportunities page. You will see that there are many roles – some to serve at a global level and others to serve in your local city network - storytellers, graphic designers, administrators, project leaders - the list goes on - and it doesn't include those roles that we haven't yet thought of!

If you don’t see a role that suits you, but you want to volunteer, write to us with the skills that you can offer, or the skills that you would like to develop and we will most certainly have something that you can help us with!

We look forward involving you in our interesting, exciting and challenging activities!


Date: Jan 2020
Author and editor: Rebecca Fountain, Head of Marketing and Communications, PWN Global

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