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Give Your Talent to Fuel Your Career

Job Seeker Bright Spots

Give Your Talent to Fuel Your Career

"You are the only person on this earth who can use your ability."

- Anonymous

I recently gave a keynote address for an organization giving service awards. The title of my speech was "Connecting Passion in Work and Life." I spoke about looking at the pieces of our life as a pie chart. The pieces do not have to be the same size, but they all fit together. One piece might be our professional life, one our leisure life, one our relationship and one our community life.

When we are in the process of finding a new job, due to a number of different reasons, our pie is missing a piece. This can seem frustrating and can even elicit anger. More jobs are becoming available, but for the person who is still without a job, the headlines aren't a comfort. Today, finding a job takes longer and requires more patience.

During the job search process, a job seeker may begin to lose their self-esteem and start to question their skills and abilities. It's understandable that this occurs, and yet, in reality you, the job seeker, have not lost your skills and abilities.

One way to keep your confidence and skills up (and even learn new skills) is to find a volunteer opportunity. Volunteering is a great way to use your talents, pay it forward, and create new relationships.

Where can you volunteer? Start by thinking of something that you are passionate about or have always wanted to do. In your youth, you may have attended a summer camp, and now would be a great time to give back to that camp by volunteering. Perhaps, you are passionate about feeding the hungry, and you want to work with organizations that are fighting hunger. Maybe you enjoy the arts and music and you would like to volunteer at a gallery or museum. You may love animals and want to spend time at an animal shelter.

Your local United Way, Chamber of Commerce, church or a non-profit resource website, such as the Maine Association of Non-profits or VolunteerMaine.org, will all be well prepared to share with you volunteer opportunities. For many job seekers, volunteering can lead to career change opportunities.

Your local United Way, Chamber of Commerce, church or a non-profit resource website, such as the New Hampshire Center for Nonprofits or VolunteerNH or VolunteerNH.org, will all be well prepared to share with you volunteer opportunities. For many job seekers, volunteering can lead to career change opportunities.

Your local United Way, Chamber of Commerce, church or a non-profit resource website, such as the Vermont Commission on National and Community Service or Volunteer Center of Central Vermont and the Northeast Kingdom, will all be well prepared to share with you volunteer opportunities. For many job seekers, volunteering can lead to career change opportunities.

Your local United Way, Chamber of Commerce, church or a non-profit resource website, such as the Massachusetts Council of Human Service Providers (aka Providers' Council) or Massachusetts Service Alliance, will all be well prepared to share with you volunteer opportunities. For many job seekers, volunteering can lead to career change opportunities.

Your local United Way, Chamber of Commerce, church or a non-profit resource website, such as the Serve Rhode Island or Southern Rhode Island Volunteers, will all be well prepared to share with you volunteer opportunities. For many job seekers, volunteering can lead to career change opportunities.

Volunteering allows us the chance to remember that we have value. Losing a job is temporary; volunteering and giving back can last a life time. It can be a rewarding and meaningful experience.

What are you passionate about? Now is the time to use your talents and fulfill your passion by volunteering. Be ready to feel good again and pay it forward!

We love to hear from our readers. If you have something you would like to ask our writers, please send us your questions.


Diane L. Dunton M.S., president of Potential Released Consulting Services since 1996, has over 25 years of business and HR experience. Diane has received specialized training with National Training Labs, the Gestalt Institute, Center for Creative Leadership, the University of Michigan's Organizational Career Development and the Center for Reengineering Leadership programs. She has developed programs for over 25,000 employees and leads more than 20 workshops annually offering executive coaching, professional individual coaching and programs on leadership and strategic planning. She has appeared before conferences of up to 9,000 participants and her work has appeared in both U.K. and U.S. management publications, including the Society for Training and Development's Team and Organizational Development Sourcebooks (2003-2006).Learn more about Diane at PotentialReleased.com.