Ann Kulikoff, Board Member
Our Time Shared – Looking for those opportunities to volunteer and do more for others has a positive benefit to all.
Taking the time to volunteer provides an avenue to teach what we have learned and to pass that knowledge to others. It is difficult to carve out time in such a busy and hectic life. But being aware and available to others when you see a need can be quite rewarding. Through the teacher and mentor’s our own experience there is what I would call a wider lens, simply a metaphor for a person’s broad/wide experience. That wide lens provides an opportunity to see how we can best help others. Like all interactions and relationships, they should always begin from a place of respect for one another. It is important to be astute to the needs of others and when there is a way to help. Assisting, teaching, or informal mentoring can be easy if we look for opportunities to help. Many times, people ask for help but there are times when our time volunteering gives us insight to those needs.
There is a distinction in informal mentoring vs mentoring. In corporate and professional structures there are formal mentoring programs in place. The IRWA has a mentoring program for members who want to be a mentor or mentee. If you volunteer in IRWA leadership and are interested in a formal program, there is information on the IRWA International Website under Chapter Leadership Resources https://membernetwork.irwaonline.org/mentoring
Most people never go through formal mentoring programs. As they are typically set up for those in Leadership roles. Many people do not have time in their busy schedule to carve out time for a formal program. Volunteering provides an opportunity for informal mentoring. It gives us the opportunity to do something most people enjoy doing and doesn’t have to require much time.
There are so many people in this organization who are ready to teach and help others learn more about our industry. I have met so many amazing people while volunteering in the IRWA. I have appreciated the time that people took to teach me about the Association along the way. I enjoy the opportunity to do the same for others.
Being available to teach others about our industry or being an informal mentor while volunteering is a great way to do something that benefits us while helping others. It is a way to live healthier and gain fulfillment in our lives, time well shared. This article discusses more of the benefits https://www.helpguide.org/articles/healthy-living/volunteering-and-its-surprising-benefits.htm