Not completely, but definitely cut back if you happen to volunteer as much as I do. For me it has always been extremely important to give back to my community, however lately my perspective and time availability have shifted. Additionally it has always struck me how so few give so much and vice versa…
Lets be clear, there are different kinds of volunteering.
First there is the straight forward, you sign up for kind. Usually aligned to your core beliefs. For me it tends to be around the world of HR. In this area I am cutting back but not stopping as it’s where I get the most enjoyment and fulfillment. I teach graduate school HR so that’s not technically volunteering but given the amount I make it could be. I also speak at conferences, mentor, and lead the NYC CHRO group for SHRM. To me this is less volunteering and more duty and payback to the community I work and believe in. I am scaling back here but I still dabble as much as I can.
Second is my civic volunteering. I have recently rolled off the Huntington chamber board where I served and volunteered for 4 yrs. They do great work and are a wonderful group that gives selflessly to enrich the Huntington community. Tough choice for me here as I have enjoyed my time with the chamber. Sometimes reality and priorities overtake desire. I just don’t have enough time anymore to give to this wonderful group. I am up at 6am daily and on my way to NYC by 7 each day. I have been averaging walking in the house between 8 and 830pm each night. So there isn’t much time left to squeeze for this.
I also sit on the Molloy college business school advisory board. Two mtg s. and two to three events a yr. I am trying to keep this going as they are doing great work, building great curriculum and serving both the educational and non-profit community. two birds with one stone. The folks on the board are diverse, dynamic and enjoyable.
I also do editorial review work for World at Work’s publication’s and SHRM’s foundation projects. It’s not that much time, I can read article and publication drafts on the train , or as I used, to on planes. I get to read cool stuff before it’s actually out there for folks to consume. For me its a win – win.
Then there are the one offs, helping friends and their children with resumes, career counseling, and “HR insight”. Well how can you say no to that?
Maybe I can’t stop volunteering and if your like me, it’s probably hard to cut back to much as well. See almost everything we volunteer for is actually important for a variety of reasons, and if you don’t do it who will?
Maybe I won’t stop, sounded like a good idea for a fleeting moment…