I often tell people that a great way to try out a new career is to volunteer for tasks and projects that give you a taste of that field. The Wall Street Journal recently published an article that is a new twist on that idea The Latest Office Perk: Getting Paid to Volunteer. According to them, many companies are starting to “lend out” their employees to nonprofits and startups, while keeping them on the payroll. The employees get to use their business skills in a new environment, and come back to the company with a broader background, better leadership skills, and a better sense of how to work in different cultures – not to mention the personal satisfaction of making a difference to a worthy cause.
Does your company offer a program like this? If so, I hope you’re taking advantage of it. If not, perhaps you could suggest starting one on a small scale. You never know what you’ll be able to do, or who you’ll meet, if you don’t try.