October 11, 2017 Sheila Anderson

Volunteering is a Surefire Way to Build Your Personal Brand

The Impact of Volunteering on My Life

I am a firm believer in giving back to the community in which we live. Not only is it good for us and those we serve, but it can also build your personal brand. Something I strongly encourage my clients or anyone seeking advice on gaining visibility is to become involved in their community.

I have spent the past 25 years volunteering for various events, being involved with nonprofits, and supporting local causes. I am currently active in two nonprofits.

How Joining a Service Club Began to Shape Me

The first one, and the one that has had the most impact on changing my life, is a service club called Cosmopolitan International, an organization whose main focus is raising money and awareness for diabetes. My husband was a member and I began attending club events with him. After a few years, I joined as a member. Never in my wildest dreams did I imagine myself serving on the International Board level. I most certainly never saw myself serving as the organization’s International President. For goodness’ sake, I froze up when I had to speak in front of people! But that all changed.

This organization single-handedly took me from a somewhat shy individual to someone who gained confidence in voicing my opinion. I started serving on the local club level. This is truly where I began coming out of my shell. In many ways the local club of which I am still a member has watched me “grow up.” With their encouragement and support, I moved up the ranks and eventually held the position as VP of Marketing on the International Board.

In 2013, I became the third woman in the Club’s history (founded in 1918) to hold the prestigious office as the International President. It most certainly came from immersing myself into this organization and taking advantage of the opportunities it offered me to develop many skill sets. Skills of not only speaking, but organizing, creating budgets, marketing fundraisers, working with a board, and managing multiple projects. I am still a very proud member of this organization and love watching others grow in their own way through their involvement.

Serving on Additional Non-Profit Boards Broadens Skills

Today, I also serve on another nonprofit board called Simon Says Give. This nonprofit was founded by a 7-year-old girl and it is run by a Kid Board with the support of an Adult Board. I love that this organization develops kids as leaders. I look forward to seeing how the skills they learn at such a young age will help them in their careers and life ahead. It’s never too early for people to learn the importance of giving back.

The Impact Volunteering Can Have on Your Personal Brand

I recently wrote an article called 5 Ways Volunteering Builds Your Personal Brand. I hope this inspires you to be more active in your community! Think about doing something different than what you do. For example, just because you are an accountant, doesn’t mean you have to sit on an organization’s Finance Committee or serve as Treasurer. There might be opportunities to gain other skills by serving in a capacity different from your expertise.

Powering your strategic visibility! Sheila Anderson is an image and impression management expert driven to empower corporate professionals across the globe in growing their strategic visibility through her return on image® services. Using her I.C.U. process, Sheila works with leaders to lean into personal style and build authentic brand.


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