Giving back: The third piece of the work-family balance puzzle
When most people talk about work-family balance, they focus on juggling their business or job responsibilities with their responsibilities as an individual, spouse, parent and caregiver. But there’s another important aspect of work-family balance that often gets left out of the discussion—giving back.
Volunteering has always been on my to-do list. Like everyone else who’s working on this balancing act, my days as a business owner, parent of young children and spouse are jam-packed. I’ve always had difficulty finding time to get involved with projects and organizations that I wanted to support. This year, I decided that I would make giving back a priority and find the time.
I thought about what skills and insights I could bring to the table and realized that as an experienced strategic marketing professional and owner of a small business, I could leverage my leadership, marketing and business skills to help non-profit and educational organizations achieve their missions. This past year, as a volunteer, I’ve put my skills to work for several different organizations whose work I’m passionate about. In addition to my participation on several boards of non-profits, some of the projects I’ve worked on included:
- developing and implementing a branding and marketing initiative with a local Jewish organization that connects volunteers with organizations with the goal of increasing awareness and growing their pool of volunteers;
- serving as a judge, for the second year, for Towson University’s business plan competition for start-ups;
- participating as a member of the selection committee for the Incubator Company of the Year Awards;
- serving as communications lead on the Head of School selection committee at my daughters’ school.
I volunteer not only because it’s fulfilling for me and provides the organizations with access to skills they need, but because I want to be a role model for my children. I want them to see that it is important to succeed in more than just business or school. It’s also important to be an active, contributing member of the community. I want them to grow up knowing that giving back should be part of their lives. Even before they’re adults, they can be part of the community, whether that means collecting canned goods for a food drive, helping plant a community garden or making holiday cards for the residents of a local nursing home. Everyone has some talent they can share.
I find that a good balance of work, family and community helps me remain grounded and I’m able to give more to my clients and my family as a result. I encourage you to look at your own skills and passions and find a volunteer opportunity where you can put them to work. It can take some time to find the right fit, but everyone can make a difference.