I’m a member of Generation “Y”; more commonly referred to as the “Me Generation”. A recent Time Magazine cover called my generation “lazy, entitled, selfish, and shallow”. Not really the way most of us would like to describe ourselves, is it? I’m a small town real estate professional from “Ontario’s Feel Good Town” of Cobourg; a town that’s often near the top of the list for best places to live in Canada. Some say it’s the beach, or short drive to the city, that makes our town a great place to live, but I know it’s a lot more. It’s the organizations, charities, and the people that volunteer for them that make us the “Feel Good Town”.
Now I’m not trying to sell anyone on moving to Cobourg, but what I am trying to sell is the difference young professionals can make by volunteering. Realtors are in an industry that directly benefits from what our communities have to offer, so of all professions, we should be the shining example of community involvement.
One of the primary reasons our generation doesn’t volunteer is that they don’t have the time. But as someone who currently sits on over a dozen boards & committees, I promise you that we all can make the time if we have the drive to.
As the “me” generation, you might be thinking “how does it benefit me?” So here are my top five reasons to volunteer;
1) Giving feels good. On the stressful days, wouldn’t it feel better to go to bed knowing you contributed to making your community and someone’s life better?
2) Volunteering develops new skills. It gives you a chance to develop where you might not otherwise have been able to; such as leadership, public speaking, or building a home for Habitat.
3) It’s a great way of meeting new people. That said, I highly discourage anyone from volunteering to hand out business cards. Your primary purpose should be for the greater good and if you meet a new client, just consider it a bonus!
4) Support your local economy. A lot of people prefer to support businesses that give back to the community and volunteering is an excellent way to build your profile with local business people.
5) Local knowledge. By being involved in community organizations, you’ll know firsthand what services or opportunities are available to clients looking to relocate.
So whether it’s a volunteering day at your local food bank or becoming a director on a local board, by bettering our communities we will better ourselves. So, perhaps it really is all about Me?
Jacqueline Pennington, OREA YPN Committee member & Guest Blogger