For the last 17 years, Citrix has provided employees with the opportunity to take a day out of their busy schedules to volunteer in their communities. Teams of volunteers have cleaned beaches, helped the homeless, mentored students, and lent a hand to causes that are near and dear to them. And while this is great for the community and a testament to the values of Citrix, it can also enhance your career.

Learn new skills and gain confidence

Volunteering enables you to branch out from your daily work routine and tackle new tasks. Maybe it’s learning how to plant a tree or maybe it’s figuring out how to corral 30 school kids on a field trip; new experiences help the brain grow. While learning how to roof a house might not seem relevant to your day job, the experience of learning something new without the pressure of having it associated with your work is not only liberating, but it gives you the confidence to tackle new problems at work in ways you might not have thought of before.

Network with peers and leadership

There is something unique that happens when employees get together outside of the comfort of the office, when everyone is wearing their volunteer shirt, and the group, as a whole, has a mission of helping those in need and finishing a project together, with managers and leaders shoulder-to-shoulder with interns and employees. This shared purpose breaks down social barriers and provides amazing opportunities to network with colleagues and leadership. Volunteering also provides a great opportunity to show your leadership skills or simply show a different side of yourself. These shared experiences and new social connections can lead to increased productivity in the office, simply by meeting and working with new people.

Develop new ideas

Volunteering can also serve as a catalyst for innovation. Working with non-profits and community organizations opens your eyes to a variety of problems that these groups are trying to solve. By combining your business skills and/or technical knowledge with real-world issues, beautiful things can happen. A few years ago, employees learned of a street cleanup program in a college town. The organization had trouble tracking the progress of the volunteers cleaning up the streets and were unable to secure funding from a local foundation. After volunteering with them, employees from Citrix decided to develop a mobile game app that was similar to a Pac Man experience. The gamification of the cleanup not only encouraged volunteers to keep cleaning the streets, but it collected the data necessary for the grant.

At Citrix, April is our annual Global Day of Impact volunteer kick off campaign. Teams of employees around the world will take a day to make change happen in their communities. Our goal is to log 5,000 hours of volunteer service in one month. As a company, we strive to support the communities where our employees live and work. And as employees, I urge everyone to get out there and volunteer. Who knows? You might just find your next big idea out there.

To learn more about the Corporate Citizenship program at Citrix please check out our 2017 Year in Review brochure.