Elrin Fernandes
Elrin Fernandes
Quality Auditing Analyst, Mumbai, India
July 25, 2018

How Giving Back Fuels My Soul—And My Career


You’ve probably heard the saying, “Giving back is good for your soul.” But did you know it’s equally good for your mental health—and for your career?

I have been an Accenture volunteer since September 2017. The not-too-onerous 106 hours I’ve donated over the past 10 months to passionately serve people in the rural areas of Mumbai, India, have benefited me significantly. Above and beyond everything, when I see a smile on the faces of the people I help, I am filled with a deep sense of gratification and fulfillment.

Creating positive change
Ironically, I was a novice at volunteering before I joined Accenture in June 2011. But once I jumped on the Accenture Corporate Citizenship bandwagon, the desire to work for the welfare of others got stronger. I still remember my first volunteering assignment in 2015. I don’t think anything I could have done would have prepared me for it.

That was only the beginning.

Today, volunteering has helped me grow my career, and it’s empowered me to create positive change in my community. So much so that I am currently preparing to transition from my role of a quality auditing analyst to the most rewarding role of my life—supporting the core Accenture Inclusion & Diversity team in managing the program and operations of the Pride and Champions network. This is a breakthrough opportunity, rather a perfect blend of altruism and ambition, for my career and well-being.

What I’ve learned
Giving back has brought joy and success to my career and personal development. Here are some things I’ve learned along the way:

  • Learn. Grow. Leap. Repeat. Through skills-based volunteering as part of the 16-week-long Accenture Upliftment Program, I improved my communication skills—the most important quality in a great leader. As I trained students on developing key communication and life skills, I also gained clarity, precision and thoroughness in my verbal and written skills. Persuading people to get out of their comfort zone and make time for volunteering is always challenging. I had to perfect my skills over time through reading and learning key techniques to make headway.

  • “No time” is no excuse. Over the years, I’ve realized when I devote more time to volunteering, I actually have more time. Lack of time is a big hurdle for most people who want to give back but think they can’t. With my friends, I’ve found a simple way out. When we make plans to catch up on weekends, we choose a nonprofit close by where we can meet an hour or two before, contribute to a cause and then have some fun. Isn’t this a great way to feel less time-constrained and more “time affluent”?

  • Volunteering instills discipline and creativity. As a volunteer, I’m solely responsible for my assigned work. I have to reach the venue on time, set up everything and go through the key topics of discussion. There’s no backup and no scope for any mistakes. I know if I fail, then everyone else on my team will fail, too. This is where discipline plays a big role. Also, I brainstorm with colleagues to come up with really engaging content that will keep my entire audience, whether they’re 10 or 60, tuned in.

  • Giving gives a dose of happiness. Participating in pro bono activities makes me smile more, builds compassion and helps me maintain strong social bonds with fellow volunteers. All this creates a sense of belonging and life satisfaction, ultimately leading to happiness. No denying, I come back home to my family much better off than before.

From learning new skills and building new relationships to soaring higher professionally and feeling happier, doing good is my ultimate formula for success. When you see how you are impacting the people you’re helping and when they thank you, you feel like a hero.

Are you ready to become someone’s hero today?

Find your next career opportunity with Accenture today, and do work that really makes a difference while being your true, authentic self.

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