Compounding Your Wins
Volunteering your time is a powerful way to connect with your community. The great thing is that it can also be a great way to grow your professional network and promote your business at the same time.
While we all understand that giving back to your community has benefits, it’s also difficult to make time for giving in your work life. One effective way to make room for giving back is to use the skills which you already have. Giving back this way will allow you to leverage your existing skill set and compound the effects of your time.
There are a few ways in which Thrive Global Engineering is using our existing skill sets to give back to the community.
At Thrive Global we are working to use the skills that we already have as software developers to give back to a group who has always had access to the resources to learn about digital marketing for small businesses.
How We Give Back at Thrive Global
The simple starting point of having gratitude can be a good place to start thinking about how you should give. What people and organizations have helped you get to where you are today? What skills are you grateful to have learned? And which skills have made the most impact on your life?
Taking stock of those skills would be a great place to start thinking about how your skills could have a positive impact on others.
Reflect On Your Company’s Mission
All organizations develop core mission statements as a way to broadcast to everyone in the organization what your north star is. What direction you all should be pulling in. One way to compound your time would be to take your company’s mission statement and apply that to giving.
Staying Close to Our Mission
Our entire organization at Thrive Global holds diversity, empathy, and direct communication as core values.
Part of the mission of diversity is to make sure that we are doing everything we can to empower those groups who may not have had access to the tools which are driving our technology forward.
We view giving back as not just a way to throw energy back into the system as gratitude but also as a way to put energy back into the system which will help grow the skills of those people who can help propel our mission forward.
Make Giving Less Overwhelming
Put It In Perspective
How do you find to give back when you’re working so hard to move your company forward?
Trying to find a way to give back to your community can feel overwhelming. It’s often difficult to find a venue where your skills can help others. It’s hard to find the time to track down volunteering opportunities and doing the work itself is a challenge to fit in.
Leverage the Work You’ve Already Put In
One key to finding time to give back is to leverage the skills which you already have.
In his book, “Rework” Basecamp founder and CEO Jason Fried makes the great point that one key to start up a success is to compound your wins by also making the by products of your work products in themselves.
He was looking at things from a commercial point of view but the basic idea can also be applied to volunteering. Use the skills that you already have to compound the effects of your time.
At Thrive Global we use a volunteering platform to take some of the effort and cognitive load off of giving back.
Goodera provides a platform for connecting those who have technical skills with those who need them.
To find a volunteering opportunity which would be a good fit for our team, I scrolled through the list of options in the app and found a group called blackconnect.com. This group helps people who are looking to build their digital marketing skills match with people who have those skills. Bingo.
This is a great chance for us to give back. So, we got in contact and we’re starting to work together.
Figuring Out What You’ve Got
Assessing Your Skill Set
Figuring out which of your skills would be the best way to give back depends somewhat on your field and your position, but the simple answer is that you can leverage pretty much anything you have expertise in.
The ways that you can give back might surprise you.
As members of the Tech community we get lost in our social media echo chambers and start to believe that if we’re not working on quantum computing then we don’t have much to give. But there are so many people out there who still do not have access to knowledge about some of the simpler ways that the internet can help them organize and promote their businesses.
Finding Your Giving Opportunity
Should you start developing a website for a local small business owner? Design some product packaging for a florist in your town? Give a class on how to rank on Google in 2021?
Any of these would be great ways to give back and the more creative you can get with leveraging your skillset, the more you will find that you are compounding your time.
How We’re Giving Next
One facet of leveraging your skillset is to periodically take stock of the effect that your work is having on your communities. Are there ways that you could be giving back better? Are there some ways that you think you are making an impact but in reality you’re really just reworking well explored paths that you or others have already taken?
Once you have a few experiences in volunteering with your skillset, take a moment to reflect and consider ways in which you could have an even deeper impact.
Finding More Diverse Ways to Give Back
One thing that we are trying to do at Thrive Global is to find more diverse ways that we can give back. How can we leverage our skill sets even further to help out those who might benefit in ways which we aren’t even considering.
How can we take your assumptions about who might benefit from the knowledge that we have and turn that on its head?
Maybe we could work with youth sports programs to show them how we use 20% time to practice our skills? Maybe we could work with writing workshops to show them how we use version control as an editing workflow? There’s tons of opportunities to reach out to “Non-technical” communities.
Accelerate Your Network
These are a few of the ways that our team is working on giving back as we grow as an engineering team within a high growth organization.
The next post in this series will be a more specific post on how we are working with our volunteering partner Goodera and BlackConnect to create specific educational digital marketing content to help small business owners.
Interested in learning more about how your engineering team can find volunteering opportunities? Or interested in how you can join our engineering team at Thrive Global?
Reach out to [email protected] and we’ll start a conversation.