Wednesday, March 30, 2011

Don't Quit Your Day Job

At some point, almost all of us have wondered "what if?" when it comes to a new career path or entrepreneurial opportunity. I went through a phase years ago when I thought that I wanted to be an event planner. I had dabbled in some small-scale event planning and wedding coordination activities for friends, considered myself organized and creative, and thought it would be a good outlet for my talents and interests. So, when given the chance to chair a major fund-raising gala for a local nonprofit organization, I jumped at it! Long story short, after managing multiple nonprofit galas and fund-raising events, I realized that (for me) event planning is a nice place to visit - but I don't want to live there. Thank goodness I had the chance to "try it before you buy it" through volunteering. I came away from those experiences with a back-pocket full of great skills, but also the very important realization that it wasn't the career choice for me. Strategic volunteering, when used to its full advantage, can be like the grown-up version of an you the virtually risk-free chance to explore career opportunities.

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