Would you say your communication skills were above average? Do your emails have clarity and purpose? How about your clients, do they always engage with your messages, taking the necessary action as a result?
If you answered ‘Yes’ research suggests you probably accomplish a lot in your work, by getting your message across effectively. I believe you will also gain if you spend some time as a volunteer, using those skills to benefit your community.
By offering your existing skills to a project you inevitably highlight your learning needs; this can lead you to acquire new abilities, gain confidence and benefit others in the process. Your morale increases when your skills are being put to good use (OECD data suggests in the UK people spend 2 minutes daily in volunteer activity, compared to 6 minutes in Australia and 8 minutes in the US. That’s just a snapshot of the positive energy being generated globally through volunteer effort).
In the short term by volunteering you will be affecting and improving the lives of a range of clients, prompting them to take action and make a difference in their own, plus others’ lives. From my experience in England Community First (#commfirst on Twitter) projects and panels benefit from volunteers, like you, who can communicate effectively.
There are plenty of other voluntary projects you could offer your communication (or other) skills to, depending on your location. Your local voluntary action co-ordinating organisation should be able to signpost you to a list of outfits in need.
So, when will you take the first step to put your skills to use for others’ benefit? Doing this helps you find renewed purpose and confidence, which can feed back into your work and make you a more valuable member of staff.