“I used to care a lot about my work, but I don’t care as much as I used to.”
“I feel like my mind has gotten bored and I’m not learning anything new.”
Sometimes in life we become stuck, our jobs seem dull or maybe we feel like we’ve
stopped mentally progressing. But, by stepping out of our normal surroundings, we can feel like we’re making progress and this may help us get unstuck. In this way, Odd Fellowship can allow you to work with a talent you have that you don’t use often. You can utilize a part of your mind that is usually idle.
Americans have become a country based in acquiring and owning. Instead of building a real community, in real time, Americans instead acquire homes, cars, appliances, or technology. You’re encouraged to buy a home, restore it, and then “flip it,” selling it to the highest bidder. A one time staple of community, religious institutions, are on the decline. Attempts to mingle religion with politics has made many people suspicious of religious interests.
This decline in local community cohesiveness shows little sign of stopping. Before the internet, the automobile was blamed for the decline in our communities. With the coming of the internet 30 years ago, it’s clear local communities are being hammered from two directions and there’s some concerned about what the outcome will look like.
Scaling the career ladder has become the predominate focus by many workers in the US. Americans move on average every 5 years, often because of work, and for the most part don’t develop or tap into a sense of local community. Communities have become fluid temporary places of residence without the trappings of community, so there’s no sense of community belonging, community values, or customs.
Yet, most feel like there’s something missing in their lives. That something missing doesn’t necessarily make us depressed, resentful, or disheartened. It’s more of a sense of “I’m bored, what else is there to do?”
Odd Fellowship is important to creating a sense of community because of the volunteer efforts in which we engage. We actually help people. And, we do it without the support of large corporate donors, or wealthy trusts and foundations. Volunteering with the Odd Fellows means that you’ll be authentically working on the ground in your own community, helping your own local people, and creating advantages for yourself…yes, I said “yourself.” When you help other people or take action to protect the environment, you feel good about yourself. And when you feel good about yourself you tend to be more successful.
To be sure, growing your career can be difficult. One key to moving up at work can be getting broad real world experiences that you can bring to the table. A person who finds themselves in a work position where everyone is struggling for the same promotion needs to be able to stand out. But how? You can pick up these skills by volunteering through Odd Fellows.
Most people don’t show up at their new jobs with their talents completely developed. You need to learn many new work skills but the learning experiences are hard to come by. This is possible in a number of ways, one being the “Halo Effect.”
The Halo Effect is the unplanned side benefits to volunteering. Volunteering with the Odd Fellows can result in large numbers of side benefits that can give you experience that can be tapped in the world of work. By taking a risk and joining us, you may even discover new skills you never knew you had.
Being an Odd Fellow can expand, compliment, and enhance your professional resume. When you help others you help yourself. You build character, and character is one of the keys to a successful career. Professional experience is the most important part of a resume, but volunteerism shows that you aren’t a one dimensional employee. When you participate in volunteer activities you can make new and important contacts. You may not always meet people who can help you directly in your profession, but volunteerism may open doors to contacts you might never have imagined.
However, don’t volunteer to reap personal rewards. You cannot be a good volunteer if you’re thinking only of yourself. Many who are climbing the career ladder relentlessly self promote themselves: “Grandstanding,” some call it. Volunteering can take the edge off the deceitfulness of grandstanding. Volunteering can be a way to make others in your profession aware of who you are without overly promoting yourself. One way to do this is talk about the volunteering you’re doing without mentioning that you’re an Odd Fellow. That way when someone finally asks you can give them the name and explanation of the Order.
So, if you’re looking to become authentically involved, consider Odd Fellowship.
Scott Moye is an award-winning history educator and collector of Arkansas folklore. He grew up on a cotton, soybean, and rice farm and is currently a museum worker. Hobbies include: old house restoration, writing, amateur radio, Irish traditional music, archery, craft beer, old spooky movies, and street performance. He is a member of Marshall Lodge #1, in Marshall, Arkansas, and a founder of Heart In Hand Blog. He currently resides in Little Rock, Arkansas. He’s available for writing and editing gigs.