I met Karen Kromer Lynch “virtually” in 2008 when she was transitioning from IBM and started the next chapter of her life.
We became fast friends on line and she sent me peanuts from Virginia Diner and I sent her books and we continue to stay in touch and keep each other updated.
Karen is active on LinkedIn as Karen Kromer Lynch and I encourage anyone who would like to see more of Karen’s work and her volunteering bio to please reach out and “link in” with her.
This week, she shares her thoughts on how she has continued to Network into Retirement.
In Karen’s words:
“What’s in it for you? What’s in it for them? Start with what you can provide to the organization. Remember Andrea’s core principle – strive to learn what you can do for others first and foremost.
Retirees offer a wide variety of talents and resources to volunteer organizations based on decades of experience. There are many organizations which require volunteers to fulfill their mission. As you identify organizations where you wish to volunteer, understand that you will be networking with others with whom you share interests.
Know yourself Be clear about how much time you have to volunteer and stick with your stated commitment. This can change over time as you become familiar with the needs of the organization and your interest.
Learn all you can about the organization Learn and listen carefully to how things are done. You must gain trust by being consistent in your volunteering. Understand expectations of volunteers. Organizations have their own structure, culture, processes and procedures, etc.
Training It can take from less than an hour to three months or more to be trained for volunteer roles. Networking is a valuable skill as you work with trainers and other new volunteers.
Teaching You may be able to bring expertise in any number of areas, from knitting to juggling to painting. Share your gifts, and network with others interested in your areas of expertise.
Marketing and Social Media Skills A solid social media presence for outreach to the community is critical for success. Volunteer skills in these areas may prove invaluable.
Fundraising From annual appeals to yard sales to bake sales, volunteer organizations use many tactics to raise money to support their mission. You may enjoy networking with a team to enhance sales and outreach appeals for donations.
Recruiting Once you have spent up to 6 months in a volunteer position, you are most likely a prime candidate for networking to identify others interested and willing to volunteer.
Joining the board of an organization you care about Volunteering is a great way to introduce yourself to the organization, and find out if joining the board to help with further efforts is appealing to you and if you are a good fit.
New Career Path, or Part time work You can expand your knowledge about possible new career paths or part time job opportunities.”
** Thank you, Karen, for sharing your thoughts and wonderful advice! And YOU truly walk the talk! ARN