Dear Aunty B,
I have taken on some volunteer admin work at a learning centre in my neighbourhood on a part-time basis.
At first, I really enjoyed the warm environment and the satisfaction the work brought me. But as time goes on, I’m beginning to see how unorganised and unprofessional the organisation really is.
Every day I discover a missed funding opportunity because of slack paperwork or another bungle that sees our services not delivered effectively. I come from a private sector background, but I have worked for community bodies before and I know they struggle with lack of resources and skilled talent. However, I’m beginning to think my own skills are wasted in an organisation so far gone!
Am I being overly critical or should I move on to doing something where my skills can actually make a difference?
Victoria Park, WA
Stop acting like a martyr, you took on the job to help the organisation out – so help! It sounds like you have smarts to really make a difference here.
Volunteer work does make you feel all warm and fuzzy inside, but like anything, you have to be willing to put in the hard work to enjoy the pay off.
Volunteer organisations face many issues that the private sector does not, and it will take some patience on your behalf not to expect things to be as efficient as they might be if money was at stake.
The community sector doesn’t need more bleeding hearts with good intentions, it needs people like you to steer them towards delivering a valuable service.
If you really value your skills, then believe in your ability to make a difference – or leave the volunteering for someone who does.
Your Aunty B