The Power of Volunteering

In this day and age, it’s the little things that make you feel important.  That remind you that ‘yes, you know what you’re doing.’ And, more importantly, that someone trusts you to get it done.  Since coming back home from my one-year contract position at Death Valley National Park, I decided to return to the wonderful world of volunteering.  In volunteering, you have the opportunity to really shape your experience and seek out experiences that are more in line with what you want to do.  In many ways, you get to try it out and see if that type of institution or skill set you want to learn is really the best fit.

Over the course of my year in Death Valley, I have cultivated an interest in photographic collections, physical and digital.  In seeking out volunteer gigs, I’m looking to expand on that interest.  At my current volunteer gig at a library I’m helping them to arrange, describe, and ultimately digitize their small photograph collection.    It’s interesting being in an experience where someone is looking to me to know how to do something.  To essentially manage myself and manage a project.  Never one to shy away from anything, I’m ready for the challenge.

Sometimes in this economy, when it’s so easy to get discouraged about the state of things, it’s nice to have someone look at you and go “I know you can do this, so do it.”  And, not only that, knowing how to do it.

To my friends on the job market, never underestimate the power of volunteering to remind you why you love what you do and, more importantly, that you can still do it.  Getting paid to do it is the icing on the cake but in the in-between time learn new skills and excel.  It’s quite the confidence boost.

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About Ashley S

I'm an archivist!
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