Most of us want to make a difference. We are eager to find places and positions where we can have a positive impact on our world. Because we live in a world of constant information and access it can feel like finding your “spot” can be a bit like the proverbial search for a needle in a haystack.
It can be a bit overwhelming when you think about it…
You have interests.
You have talents and gifts.
You have passion.
Wouldn’t it be great if those unique pieces of us worked together to form a neon sign, indicating that one “right” opportunity? Your unique past, personality and preferences do highlight the way…they help to reveal all the right opportunities.
All of them.
I’ve come to believe (with great conviction) that there is no one perfect spot for you to serve.
Shocking I know…
There is more than one. This is a “yes, and…” situation. You have the ability to add great value while experiencing great fulfillment in more than one specific role. In fact finding a good place to volunteer is less about finding “the right spot” and more about aligning 3 essential elements of a volunteer role.
The next time you find yourself weeding through the options or trying to help someone else find their right spot to volunteer, look for opportunities that have these 3 elements:
- People with whom you could connect – you should enjoy the people to serve alongside. Look for places where friends have jumped in. Find a team where people similar to you are already involved. Our need to connect is foundational when it comes to volunteering. People help the experience to be sticky – they make us want to come back.
- Clear opportunities to contribute – you should see how your presence has the ability to make a difference. There are spots covered and people served who might have been missed if you weren’t in place. You aren’t a paper pusher, you are a difference maker. You have to see a path towards adding value.
- Results that are part of a bigger picture – can you see the way that the investment of your time and energy are contributing to the bigger cause? If you are unable to see the correlation between your effort and the stories of life-change you will quickly lose vision.
If you see an opportunity that combines those 3 elements – lean in. You are likely to love it and have a great chance to flourish in it.