Monday, January 12, 2009

volunteering and do I even care?

I started my new job today.

I work in an agency delivering resources and information, training and options for all sectors of the volunteer community.

My role is as a Volunteer Management Program Project Worker. A rather dry sounding mouthful for a job title really. It's more or less community development work with a focus on assisting Not-For-Profit organisations with all their volunteer resources and training.

The old days of "just" chipping in to help out are fading away. Government - at least here in Australia - are recognising the huge value volunteers make to the community and social fabric of our Aussie society. It's not only good economic sense, it's also good ethical sense. A community bonded is a community that is healthy and less likely to drain services. Volunteers are integral to that goal.


Do I care enough about the concept of volunteering to do my job well?

Good question!

I have been a volunteer over the years in many different organisations and guises. When I adopt a project...I really adopt it! To the point of fanaticism sometimes. I can become so deeply entwined into a group as to be utterly consumed by it.

In recent years, I've been very cautious about becoming "too" involved for this reason. I don't really like being told what to do. I rather like bossing people about and telling them what *I* want done for the most part! At the same time, I feel so obligated to my chosen group that the burden I put on myself in meeting those self-imposed duties can literally suck my spirit dry.

Looking back, I can see a distinct pattern to my involvement in groups. Three years! Yes! Nearly everything I have ever had a strong focus for and have been passionate about has lasted for approximately three years, give or take a few months. That was rather eye-opening!

I did a rather brief and perhaps a little perfunctory muscle test on my new job today, to find out what my core "thinks" about this jobs prospects - given my poor track record in recent months with retaining employment - Answer? Three years! hahahaha

It's like it's some sort of hot wired genetic code thing in me or something. My gene for Hyper-Focus Passion Facility is set to three years max!

So back to the question. Do I CARE enough about volunteering in general to do my job well. Actually... you know what? No!

And that is a very, very good thing! It means, that just maybe, I can be a lot more impartial, less emotionally involved, less Hyper-focused and definitively less inclined to have my body, mind and soul eaten up by the Group Mind!

And that means...I could very well keep this job longer than I expect! Just maybe!

Do I care? I care enough to not want to care overly much.

Think about it.


Steve said...

Dead right Michelle! As a paid worker in a volunteer world it is important that you do what you are paid to do. Do your job, do it well and go home.
No-one could ask more!

saussie said...

All the best for your new job Michelle!