So you have a million things on your plate right now. As you start to truly embrace your role as a Volunteer Maryland Coordinator, your schedule is filling up and you might be worrying about getting it all done. What comes first; recruiting 15 volunteers for next week’s project, filling out that work plan, or working on planning the big project that’s coming up in a few months? At this wonderful stage of possibilities, you might be still deciding what direction you want your projects to go in, and which priorities should claim your time.
If this sounds like you, don’t panic – you’re not alone. One of the strategies that Volunteer Maryland uses to help folks throughout the year with this feeling is the weekly check-ins and the monthly regional meetings. The check-ins are Kerry and my time to hear about how you are doing and talk through some strategies in a one-on-one setting. The regional meetings are a time for you to share how you are doing directly to your fellow Volunteer Maryland Coordinators, and collaborate on solutions from a variety of angles.
There is the fear that you are the only one going through what you are going through; but talking to your Peer Leaders and to other Volunteer Maryland Coordinators helps you find out how others who are dealing with the same challenges as you are and maybe overcoming them. Each and every site has a different purpose and culture, but you’ll find that you have more similar experiences than different ones – you’re at very different places, but fundamentally you’re going to go through a lot of the same things.
“Catching up with the VMC crew was the highlight of my week. Realizing that I wasn’t the only frazzled, overwhelmed person was lovely… I feel like a whole new person,” Kristen said during our first regional meeting.
I’d love to hear what other ways you all are dealing with the new experiences and stresses, and so would your fellow VMCs. So make some time for coffee with one another. Take some time to talk things over with Kerry and I. Sharing strategies is a great way to get to know each other and find some good new ways to work through the difficulties of a new job.