Five Ways to Be a Great Volunteer
Volunteering propels AIHA’s mission forward. There are many reasons to volunteer for AIHA, such as to earn CM points, advance the profession, gain leadership skills, develop professional contacts, and make a positive impact on the world. But with over 3,000 volunteers at AIHA, what makes a great one?
Passion. When you’re motivated by your interests, you are likely to put forth more effort and energy for a longer period of time. Volunteering requires significant commitment, so start by asking yourself why you want to volunteer and what you are passionate about.
There are plenty of opportunities to find your niche with AIHA’s 50-plus volunteer programs. Check out the mentoring program, local and student local sections, content review groups, The Synergist magazine, and the SynergistNOW blog.
Time commitment. Balancing work, studies, and family can leave little time left over. However, setting aside an hour or two a week toward volunteering can add value and purpose to your professional and personal development.
Setting aside time for volunteering leads to a more successful experience, while spreading yourself thin prevents you from fulfilling responsibilities and delays projects.
Be active. This may seem obvious, but sometimes just turning up to meetings isn’t enough. For a volunteering project or program to be successful, you must actively participate, be engaged, and get involved. Volunteer groups need volunteers who step up, act, and get things done.
Work to personal strengths. When joining any volunteer program, consider what you bring to the table. What do you have to contribute? What are some skills and experiences you can share? How best can you help?
Once you understand what you offer, you’ll be in a better place to step up for leadership roles, projects, or collaboration opportunities. Choose volunteer programs that complement your experience and skill set.
Community focus. Look to build relationships with your peers throughout your volunteering experience, as networking within your volunteer community creates connections through your mutual goals. Learning from others and sharing your own experiences helps you by expanding your knowledge and scope within a subject area.
AIHA values its volunteer community and the contributions it makes, and our volunteers are the lifeline of the association. Visit the AIHA volunteer groups webpage to learn more and take the next steps toward volunteering.