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4 High-Impact Ways to Give Back During PTO

mong large companies, providing employees with paid time off (PTO) for volunteer work is the exception to the rule. In fact, just 22% of organizations offer this high-impact benefit, according to the Society for Human Resource Management's most recent Employee Benefits Report. That percentage was 21% the year before, and 21% the year before that—stagnation that suggests this simply isn't a priority for many enterprises.

But at Johnson & Johnson, we recognize that greatness is grounded in goodness, and that how we do things is equally as important as what we get done. And as the world's largest and most broadly based healthcare company, we also recognize that we have an uncommon opportunity to use our size and scale for good.

So we don't just encourage our employees to take time off, then sit back and twiddle our thumbs. We put our beliefs into action. For instance, our employees can take up to two weeks off, one of them fully paid, to volunteer for a nonprofit of their choice. If you want to use your time off to give back, help people and build a career in which you change the trajectory of human health, here are four best practices for making an impact—and how you can join us in our mission today.

Look for a Skills Match to Make the Most Impact

We're committed to making the greatest possible positive impact in everything we do at Johnson & Johnson. You can see that commitment reflected in how we've structured employee volunteer initiatives like Global Pro Bono and our Secondment Program, both of which pair talented Johnson & Johnson employees with charitable organizations that will specifically benefit from their skill sets. This approach seems to make sense to talent, too: In one study of 120 companies conducted by researchers at Boston College, over 70% of respondents said they expected the citizenship programs their companies offered to include skills-based volunteering going forward.

So, ask yourself: "Is there a way I can use the things I do best to make a positive impact as a volunteer?" Keep your eyes peeled—because whatever you do and whatever field you're in, there's no doubt that a deserving organization out there is just waiting for someone like you.

Use Volunteer Work as an Opportunity to Build Leadership Skills

While the right skills match will certainly help ensure that you make the most impact while volunteering, the experience itself is also an invaluable way of developing your leadership skills.

In fact, the strength of the connection between volunteer experience and leadership potential seems to be percolating among hiring managers these days. In this Deloitte survey, for instance, the overwhelming majority (82%) of hiring managers said they would be more likely to hire candidates who included volunteer work on their resumes—and yet, they also said that they see this on resumes only about 30% of the time.

So don't overlook the fact that volunteer work and professional work are often aligned—and if you need more resume advice, check out this handy resume checklist as well as our useful guide to resume writing.

Volunteer With a Colleague

Found the right place to donate your time and energy? Great—now grab a colleague to take along with you.

Indeed, this is a smart move—and not just because you'll be doubling your impact. For example, in one study of employees who actively participate in volunteer work, 64% said the experience had significantly strengthened their working relationships with colleagues—which is another reason to think more companies should get on board and offer PTO for volunteer work in the future.

What's more, in a 2017 Deloitte survey of more than 1,000 employees across industries, 77% of respondents said that they thought volunteer work was essential to employee well-being, and another 89% agreed that company-sponsored volunteer opportunities can help create a better working environment.

Find a Local Partner

You've probably heard the saying: "Think globally, act locally." This means realizing your big-picture, universal and potentially abstract ideas and values within the everyday fabric of your life. So consider partnering with a local organization, where contributing time and energy to something close to home can be extremely rewarding.

At Johnson & Johnson, for instance, employees like Madiha Irfan have discovered the value of giving back. Twice a month, Madiha and her colleagues volunteer at Trenton Area Soup Kitchen (TASK), a New Jersey–based soup kitchen.

Whatever you ultimately choose to do—whether you're helping to build shelters, offering rides for the elderly or distributing food and water to those in need—by acting locally you'll be able to feel the impact that you're making right away. And that feeling can be contagious.

Now It's Time to Get Out There and Do Good Work!

Of course, PTO for volunteer work is just one of the amazing perks that make Johnson & Johnson a hub for some of the brightest minds in the world. The sense that we are "responsible to the communities in which we live and work" is a core part of Our Credo, which continues to guide our mission and everything that we do around the world today.

Is advancing your career goals, while also making a positive impact on the world, important to you? Want to work for a citizenship and sustainability leader that connects PTO to volunteer opportunities? Check out all of the opportunities to join our team today.

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