Doing some good to improve the world with hard-earned professional skills has to be one of the more rewarding feelings in a person’s professional life. As a researcher who has been conducting autism research as a non-profit exercise for the past decade, Baileigh Allen of ZigZag Research provides some hints around added benefits she has garnered along this journey. Here are three ways Baileigh thinks pro bono service can boost your career (and make you feel good in the process!):
Problem Solving Skills are Enhanced – researchers have to solve for problems in a different way when a cause or non-profit is concerned. Looking at the amount of data or research that is available and then solving for what’s missing; then partnering with organizations – either local or national non-profits or a college or university that is working in the area under study.
Relationship Building and Expanding Your Network – Non-profit work generally means you will be working with people outside the workplace. While that may not always be the case, depending on where you land, you will likely work with people in the non-profit sector to present your findings. You will broaden your network while deepening your relationships – and not just with the new people you meet. Those who are close to you will want to stay abreast of what’s going on and how your research is evolving. Your non-profit work will become part of what you stand for and relationships can be further enhanced as a result.
Finding Your Purpose – Serving your passion will benefit you exponentially – everyone wants to feel as though they have a purpose, a reason. We spend the vast majority of our time at work; working on outside projects allows us to use our skills to further a cause we feel strongly about – an opportunity to truly make a difference. Whether we impact the lives of 1 or 1 million with our findings is irrelevant as Steve Jobs once said, “The ones who are crazy enough to think they can change the world, are the ones who do”, though he also said “being the richest man in the cemetery doesn’t matter to me…going to bed at night saying we’ve done something wonderful – that’s what matters”.
ZigZag Research implores every market researcher to think about how they can add value to a cause you care about. If you are struggling to get started, reach out and Baileigh (email@example.com) can help guide you in the right direction. Getting started is usually the hardest part; but the relationships, memories and the impact you make, while doing something you love, is incredibly empowering.