ARTICLES - HAPPITUDE AT WORK

Volunteering in your company or for an organisation?
Why bother?

It is more and more common to volunteer in the business field either within your company or for an organisation. What are the benefits? How to find a good cause and how to not get overloaded with volunteering?

Volunteering is a great way to give, contribute and help others.

CONTRIBUTION is one of the main factors to bring more happiness at work. By contributing, you feel part of a mission, you create an impact and bring value to others and to yourself.

 

So how can we contribute more in our professional life?

1. Volunteering within the company can create strong bonds between the employees and spread happiness amongst you and your team mates.

HOW? -> Create a community within your company to bring people together and share similar values / missions / interests.

Here are some examples of communities in companies:

-> Women’s community / Sports community / Language-related community / Diversity Community / Interest Community…

Leading or being part of a community might be beneficial on many levels:

  • You will get to know other employees that you won’t normally be in contact with
  • You might feel more empowered, proud, valued, inspired and motivated
  • It’s always a good feeling to share your knowledge and bring help to others
  • Great Networking
  • and it might help for your next career steps, it can strengthen your position in the company on a strategic level

2.  Volunteering for an external organisation related to your business values

Not everyone can or wants to be an active volunteer within her/his company but some people prefer to volunteer for an external business association. As a solo-entrepreneur, I personally don’t have the support of a company or a great team to give me the energy I need.

That’s why I found another way to create my team, my tribe. Being a volunteer for a businesswomen community brings me so much. The past 2 years I have been an active volunteer at the Professional Women’s Group in Zurich. I organised their conference this year and last year. It was an amazing opportunity to be part of a team again and share similar values and goals. I gained a lot of knowledge, amazing contacts, felt incredibly inspired, empowered and energized!

Here are some examples of communities where it might be possible to volunteer in Zurich:

  • Women’s organisation (PWG, Lean In, PWN..)
  • Speakers organisation (Toastmaster / TEDx)
  • HR Organisation (Hacking HR)
  • Divers IT/Tech Organisation
  • or create your own community via Meetup (mine here)

There are so many things happening in large cities – if you are motivated I can only recommend to find a community which is aligned with your mission or values and let the magic of volunteering happen!

When to stop volunteering?

Volunteering can be very demanding. Sometimes you might get overwhelmingly busy with your volunteer job, especially if you work on a time-bound project. It might not always be fun, so I would recommend to think twice if:

  • volunteering brings you too much stress and drains your energy for a longer period of time
  • it doesn’t bring you the fulfilment you are looking for
  • it’s not aligned with your values / goals any longer
  • it’s not fun anymore
  • it starts to negatively affect your personal priorities too strongly

Of course there are many other ways to volunteer:

  • you can focus your volunteering mission more on a personal interest
  • your team/company can volunteer on external projects or specific causes. Here are some ideas:

Examples: Get a team together for a walking or running event for a cause / Get involved in or organize a local cleanup / Host a food-packaging event for hungry children

https://www.conversational.com/10-volunteer-ideas-small-businesses-want-give-back/

https://www.forbes.com/sites/causeintegration/2015/04/11/7-steps-to-employee-volunteering-success/#6f64930b377f

https://www.monster.com/career-advice/article/holiday-help-5-ways-you-and-your-company-can-volunteer

 

Volunteering can be an amazing experience bringing you lot of fulfillment while connecting you to great people. You grow a lot in the process and you find yourself receiving a lot of appreciation and personal value back as well.

Find your own way to contribute and give to others. You might be surprised how powerful it can be!

 

Here is a picture of my “tribe” for the organisation of the PWG – Tamedia Conference 2019 (Photo Credit: Foto Box – Natalie von Harscher)

We were a great team. Never forget that behind any projects, you will find amazing and dedicated people who are part of the success:

Aurelie Litynski is a Chief Happiness Officer and the Founder of Happitude at work

Aurelie aspires to increase the awareness on happiness at work in companies and help leaders and employees being successful by creating more work-related happiness in their teams. She learnt about the topic of happiness at work from experts worldwide, became a Chief Happiness Officer in 2017 and created an approach, which tackles crucial topics such as behaviour, communication, empathy and trust within companies.

Aurelie Litynski writes articles on the topic of happiness at work. You will find them all her Linkedin page.