Growing up, I began to understand that “paying it forward” and “giving back” are wonderful on many levels. As an adult, volunteering remains important to me. Recently, I participated in a volunteer experience that was the first of a kind for me. A local Houston website allows organizations to post volunteer needs. I was able to connect with a nonprofit that focuses on increasing literary advancement in their community and they needed help rebuilding their website. It was the best of both worlds—I was able to volunteer and help someone by offering my professional skills.
When people think of volunteering many think of donating a couple hours of their time to a charity. Until recently I would’ve agreed. After the completion of the website, I now understand volunteering as more than simply sharing time. I came away from this experience full of excitement. I also learned that volunteering is a method I can use to build a personal brand to demonstrate how I work and what I care about.
Trust is the cornerstone of our personal brand. We are functioning as ambassadors. What we say and do represents what’s important to us. Our expertise and work ethic drives the result of the project. We are laying the groundwork for additional technology volunteers to step in and help with future problems. The trust we build through volunteering leads to meaningful change.
One of the most important things to remember is that we have to be patient with the recipients of the solution. As an IT consultant, the typical aim is to deliver a solution that is high quality, on time (or earlier), and under budget. As a technology volunteer, that approach doesn’t always work. Being patient with our time and sharing our knowledge leaves a lasting and favorable impression on the people we are helping.
When I consider volunteering, I need to agree with the mission of the organization I’m working with and what they stand for. After the emotional buy-in I want to do everything I can to help the cause. This could be as small as adding a couple features for a website to helping streamline technology needs. Compassion keeps me engaged and wanting to help.
I’m not afraid to let the volunteer agency know when I have limited experience with the product or technology. Similiarly, if I have significant experience in a specific area sharing my knowledge in a way that’s helpful and delivering success is why I’m there. Setting expectations allows everyone to know how much help is available.
Driven to Serve
I’ve continued to volunteer after this website project. New challenges appear regularly and the opportunity to help and serve drives me. Volunteering also helps create a personal brand and further establishes my intent to be known for quality work both personally and professionally.
Credera’s core values are integrity, excellence, professionalism, and humility. Our values are the building blocks of our culture and the basis of everything we do. Our clients hire us to own their toughest challenges, and they retain us because we keep our promises. If you want to experience the difference when partnering with a values-driven firm like Credera, please contact us because we’d love to serve you.
LIFE AT CREDERA
We’re “open-sourcing” the Credera culture in a series called Life at Credera. We are sharing an authentic perspective on what we are learning and where we are growing. We are talking about friendships and fun, growth, higher purpose, talent and character, leadership, and communication.
We hope this series is a helpful resource on the continuous pursuit of a great culture. And we hope the results are encouraging to our company, employees, clients, and friends.
Looking for more? Check out these great Life at Credera perspectives: