In a recent article, we discussed 10 sure-fire ways to be an ineffective volunteer (click here to read it.) This is the other side of the coin.
So, if you clicked on this to learn how to volunteer to play in your favorite rock band, I’m sorry to disappoint!
Lots of folks dream of being a rock star somewhere along the way. You don’t have to have great mic skills or play a guitar, however, to become a volunteer rock star. All it takes is you bringing your gifts and best effort to a volunteer opportunity.
As a reminder, a volunteer is a person who willingly (and without pay) offers to help an organization or individual. And, volunteers are the lifeblood of nonprofits and religious organizations. In many of those groups, volunteering and serving are synonymous.
So, if you are volunteering now, thank you. If you are considering volunteering, then what are you waiting for?
Whatever the case may be for you, the goal is to be an effective volunteer. You want to shine as a rock star of a volunteer. As an effective volunteer, you help the group or organization move closer to realizing its ultimate goal.
With that thought in mind, here are 10 ways you can become a volunteer rock star:
- Keep your eyes on the vision. First and foremost, the religious group or nonprofit where you are volunteering should have a vision that is shared with volunteers. A vision is where the organization is ultimately heading and the mission is how the organization plans to get there. If you don’t hear a vision and mission, ask for it. Once you know that vision, and the mission, jump in and do what it takes to help the organization move a step or two closer to making it a reality. Rock star volunteers are all about the vision and where it can take the organization.
- Be serious about being there. Rock star volunteers are always on time for assigned service shifts. When a rock star volunteer is going to be away, he or she works to make sure the shift is covered. Rock star volunteers signal to others that they are dependable and trustworthy when they make being there a priority. Rock star volunteers are not going to let others down.
- Be an enthusiastic volunteer. Just for a not on this particular trait: There are some in the world who are naturally energetic and bubbly people. And, there are some who are the opposite. Both, however, can be rock star volunteers. Rock star volunteers are enthusiastic about what they are doing and it comes across in their words and actions. A rock star volunteer is passionate about what he or she is doing and that passion and enthusiasm spread across the entire organization. When other volunteers see a rock star volunteer, they immediately know that the rock star volunteer wants to be there and is ready to take on the world.
- Lead with service. Rock star volunteers realize that it is about more than just “volunteering” — it’s about service. Service takes a deeper level of commitment and it takes a different approach to working with others. Rock star volunteers avoid quarreling with others, complaining and undercut other volunteers and staff. Since they serve, volunteer rock stars realize that others do as well and rock star volunteers do not insist that everything has to change to suit their needs on the days they serve.
- Acknowledge and use your gifts. If you want to be a rock star volunteer, choose to serve in areas that DO make use of your gifts and talents. There’s nothing quite like the feeling of serving in areas that match your gifts and passion. Rock star volunteers feel invigorated when they use their gifts and natural abilities. And, when they are invigorated, that passion spreads to others who are serving. It’s a win-win when a rock star volunteer serves out of gifts and talents.
- Be part of an awesome team. Rock star volunteers are a lot like the Lego Movie. They know that “everything is awesome when you are a part of a team.” If you truly want to be a rock star volunteer, then make other volunteers feel welcome — especially the new ones. As a rock star volunteer, when you help to create a welcoming atmosphere filled with teamwork, you will help to attract other rock star volunteers to be a part of the organization.
- Don’t care who gets the spotlight. Rock star volunteers get what President Harry Truman was talking about when he said, “It’s amazing what you can accomplish if you do not care who gets the credit.” Rock star volunteers let the work speak for itself. They are not volunteering to get an ego boost and they are not worried about whether the volunteer task will put them in a spotlight. Rock star volunteers seek to build others up, they do the work that needs to be done and they don’t care who sees it. They realize that the devil is in the details and they do the little things that make an organization better.
- Pace yourself. Have you ever been challenged to run a race? The challenge when you are racing is to make sure that you pace yourself in such a way that you don’t burn out. It’s not good enough to be fastest for the first 100 yards and then lose the race in the last 100 because you have nothing in the tank. Volunteering can be that way too and a rock star volunteer knows that it’s about the big picture. Rock star volunteers make sure to guard their time and do what it takes to avoid burning out.
- Do it just because. It’s great to get a big thank you or here the words, “Well done.” Rock star volunteers realize, however, that even when those words aren’t said, the job is still appreciated. Rock star volunteers aren’t there for the accolades — they are there to serve because serving is a part of their nature.
- Just say yes. If you truly want to be a rock star volunteer, then this one works every time. You hear the call for volunteering and, you know that it is something you could do, and you make the decision to step up and go for it. Your best friend asks you to come and serve together and you say you’d love to. A rock star volunteer takes his or her light and shines it into the darkness of the world. A rock star volunteer becomes a rock star volunteer by taking a step, saying yes, and serving.
There are countless other ways that you can be a rock star volunteer. However, it all begins with you. What kind of volunteer do you want to be? Do you want to be ineffective? Or, do you want to a rock star?
Rock on, volunteers. Rock on.
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