Career Strategies: How Do I Work and Volunteer at the Same Time?

work and volunteer

Q.  I belong to a women’s professional group in my industry.  My membership has been useful and I’ve found important contacts there.  However, I agreed to serve as membership chair and it’s been a nightmare.  The president seems to think I’m going to work on recruiting as hard as I do my job!  This is supposed to be a volunteer position.  I can’t give membership 30 hours a week.  How do I lower the president’s expectations?  I want to stay involved.

A.  How much time can you devote to recruiting?  Can you recruit two or three other people to help?  The president should suggest several people who are outgoing and reliable.  Don’t even consider doing this much work alone.  What you don’t want to do is position yourself as a complainer or slacker.  Do not send snarky emails to the president.  Pick up the telephone and tell her how much time you can devote and that she needs to appoint a co-chair and volunteers to the committee.  You will  manage the process but you can’t do everything alone.  If you email your issues they can/will be forwarded to the world.  Once you’ve gotten help be sure to send an email thanking the president for her assistance and leadership.  That will also be forwarded!

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