Charities and not-for-profit associations haven’t really been my thing.
I was reminded of that rude reality two years ago while being interviewed for my naturalization papers in France.
When asked if I volunteered with any associations, I stunned myself with how quickly I blurted out “No!”
Back in High School I was a much better person. I took the bus down with friends to Washington D.C to march in defense of animal rights. And spent months going into Manhattan with my BFF Helen to get people to sign up and donate to the AIDS walk we did together.
But as an adult, aside from some sporadic GoFundMe or Doctors Without Borders donations, my charitable acts have been pretty slim.
Lack of time, lack of motivation, call it what you want, but I never really found the energy or mission.
While I was getting my coaching certification, though, I did a lot of thinking about why I chose this path and who I ultimately wanted to serve. I knew I wanted to coach women. Women who were looking to bring more meaning to their work.
But how could I bring more meaning to my work?
I started researching organizations that were doing great stuff for communities I cared about, and then challenged myself to take one concrete step towards contributing to that cause.
That’s what lead me to apply to become a volunteer mentor with Led By Her.
Founded five years ago by Chiara Condi, Led by Her is an association that helps women victims of violence rebuild their lives, and their identities, through entrepreneurialism.
I waited six months to find out if I’d made the cut. And when I got the news this Fall that I was selected to join the mentorship community I was thrilled and totally honored!
Meeting Chiara, the Led By Her volunteer community, the students in this year’s program and my fabulous mentoree has stirred something inside of me that I’ve neglected for so long.
The fabulous feeling of being part of a cause that you care about deeply.
Many of my clients come to me because they feel out of synch with their careers, like their values are heading in one way and their reality is veering in the opposite direction.
As each day goes by they feel like they’re drifting farther and farther away from the person they want to be and the person they are expected to be professionally.
As those poles moves gradually in opposite directions, the feel like they’re literally going to snap. But they have no idea how to bridge that gap and bring those two worlds into alignement.
One way to crack that conundrum is to give your brain a break and feel your way to some answers.
If this resonates with you a super easy way to start is by asking yourself:
“To make a positive impact on others through my work, I’d love to…”
Your answers might surprise you. And be easier than you think.
Whether it’s a small internal shift within your current role. Sharing your time and expertise with a charity. Or infusing more meaning into the business you already run.
Your answers might lead you to some additional questions that help shed light on what you’re next move could be.
Give it a try and let me know what you discover.