By Heather Robertson
Inside Sales Representative
State & Local Government, Pacific Northwest
What does volunteerism mean and how can we, as young professionals, give back to our community in impactful ways? At March 24’s Chamber Young Professionals Network event, three generous guests offered insight on this important topic.
Find Your Purpose
Allison Warren-Barbour from United Way of the Greater Triangle, an organized dedicated to transforming and improving the local community, presented a venn diagram during the warm-up activity. The diagram asked attendees to list a few items that we are great at, we love, we get paid to do, and what we think the world needs. For Allison, making people happy and connecting people was her purpose. She used the venn diagram to show how she could become great at making people happy, how she could learn to love management, and how she could connect people around the world. Through her work at the United Way, she was able to give back to the community, get others involved, and work toward her purpose. Being involved in work that hits your venn diagram core is more energizing, meaningful, and in the long run will make you happier.
Will Barfield from Frankel Staffing Partners, who has been involved with the Chamber and community for decades, shared three steps he has learned over his years of volunteering in Raleigh.
- Find a good fit
- Mean it
Getting engaged is the next step—and that means more than just showing up to an event for the free food and nice atmosphere—it means getting actively involved. Will joined a task force and the annual Chamber Campaign, where he was exposed to people who could help him grow his network and become a role model in the community. But, most importantly, Will didn’t just find a great organization and become involved—he meant it. When he volunteers, Will gives his all and is dedicated to the mission. When one becomes truly committed to an organization, you get so much more than friendships and skills, you get satisfaction and the feeling you’ve made a difference in the community.
The Work/Play Blur is OK
As a 20-something moving to North Carolina, Cailin Williams from Bank of America knew she had to get involved to meet people and build success here, so she joined the Chamber. It was important for her that she show up, engage, and change her attitude about joining organizations. She discovered that organizations want young people’s ideas and energy. She was nervous at first about blending work and play, but realized that this blur was happiness. Cailin was able to find a mix of giving back and having fun! In addition to being a highly active and involved young professional, Cailin created a YPN inside Bank of America and encouraged us to do the same.
Learn More about YPN
The Chamber’s Young Professionals Network provides events every other month that engage professionals ages 23 – 39 from member firms to help them become more competitive in the business arena, establish contacts, and grow personally through a variety of program topics.
Learn more here, or visit the YPN Facebook page here.