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Photo of Desmond LomasMake volunteering your resolution.

Written by: Desmond Lomas

Just because 2017 is here doesn’t mean it’s too late to make a New Year’s resolution.

There’s still time.

If you are looking for an idea to make a better 2017 for business, our community or for yourself, why not volunteer? Whether you volunteer for an organization with ties to the meetings industry such as Meeting Professionals International (MPI), the Professional Convention Management Association (PCMA) or the Canadian Society of Association Executives (CSAE) or a completely different opportunity that is focused on charity, there are many benefits when you work without a paycheque.

Here are the top five benefits when you roll up your sleeves and work for the greater good:

  1. Learn – As a volunteer you learn new environments, face different challenges and connect with new people. You will learn new skills, gain knowledge and discover alternate approaches to solving a problem. An added benefit is that you take these new experiences back to your day job. It’s a win-win for everyone.
  2. Teach – You have a lifetime of skills and experience accumulated that you can share with other volunteers, who in turn will bring it back to their day jobs.
  3. Expand your network – When you work in a different role you will meet potential future employees, employers, clients, suppliers and friends.
  4. Be a community builder – Think of the example you will set for future generations, such as your younger co-workers, children and relatives. You demonstrate that volunteers make a real difference. It is an important and worthwhile endeavour.
  5. And finally, be happy – The same principle of ‘it is better to give than to receive’ applies to volunteering. Studies have shown that giving back to our community kindles happiness and a greater sense of belonging. As a result, everyone benefits.
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