ILCA Women’s Networking Group

The relationship between volunteering & job satisfaction
November 14, 2009, 4:58 pm
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By Maureen Scheitz

Last week I did some strategic planning with my department.  One of the things we talked about was what motivated us and/or what gives us job satisfaction.  In attending the Women’s Networking Group (WNG) event Wednesday on volunteerism, I noticed some interesting similarities between what gives us job satisfaction and the benefits we experience from volunteering.

The common themes that motivate us at work are feeling like we are:  1) needed, 2) making a difference, 3) contributing to the betterment of the Company.  At the WNG volunteerism event, we heard three(3) energetic women speak.  Julie Siegel beamed when she talked about working with the Guatemalan people to help them break the cycle of poverty.  Robbie Hursthouse glowed as she talked about helping hospitalized kids break the pattern of dependency through horticultural therapy.  Laurie Staple shined as she spoke about her employer, We Grow Dreams, which creates gainful employment for people with disabilities in their greenhouse/garden center.  Julie, Robbie and Laurie are motivated and fulfilled because they know their efforts are making a difference and contributing to the well being of those around them.  Whether it’s at work or through volunteering we are fulfilled when we know what we’re doing matters.  I think it creates a sense of purpose that all human beings seem to long for. 

In 2010 my department plans to initiate a wellness committee at work that will have three(3) functions: to plan company social, community service and wellness events.  We thought about doing it in 2009, but it didn’t make it to the top of the priority list due to the business challenges of 2009.  Attending the WNG volunteerism event confirmed for me the importance of creating this committee.  Creating opportunities to serve others and connect with one another creates energy, fulfillment and motivation for living and working.  Thanks to the Women’s Networking Group for helping us to stay focused on what matters and gives purpose to life and work.


Finding Peace in the Midst of Chaos by Maureen Scheitz
October 3, 2009, 10:32 pm
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When every day is full of appointments, 11 or so hours of work at the office, followed by cooking and cleaning up dinner in the evening, homework with the kids and a work out if you can fit it in, where do you find peace?  Where do you find the energy to keep going?

What would it look like if you imagined a place free of stress where you could rest and relax?  Did you imagine sitting on a lounge chair on a secluded beach with bright blue water, sunshine and the sound of waves and a warm breeze?  That sounds like a beautiful place, outside of the routine for sure, but why was the beach secluded?  We often see people as a source of stress. 

People can be a source of peace and inspiration too even in the midst of the workday.  When you review your day and reflect on what was good about it, what usually comes to mind is a personal connection you made with someone: an interaction with a client where you clicked and there will be a positive result for all, an instance where you helped someone or coached them to a positive result, a discussion with others that lead to an idea that might be just the solution you needed.  Looking for these moments adds meaning and purpose to everyday.  Seeking to create positive connections between people and looking for opportunities to inspire others turns meaning and purpose into energy for living.

If we get excited about these moments and allow them to inspire us, they can be a strong source of energy, peace and fulfillment.  In the end when you peel everything back, what really matters at the end of life is the depth of the relationships you have and the positive impact you’ve had on others.