In no particular order of importance, some advice that may or may not be helpful for future members
1) Take time off, you have available time so use it or lose it!!!
2) Try your best not to lose site of your mission, both personally and professionally (or if the two intersect). i.e., why did you join AmeriCorps?, what are you hoping to get out of this experience? what are the goals of your particular position? are you staying on track to meet all of the goals you have set for yourself?
3) I recommend trying not to think about work outside of work, but if you happen to be walking down the street and thinking about work let it go everyone once in a while. You might have a creative spark or a great idea that just comes to you that otherwise may not have when sitting in the office.
4) Take advantage of professional development opportunities when possible. Attend workshops, webinars, conferences, shadow a co-worker, etc. A big part of national service is being able to develop professional skills.
5) Try to be comfortable and friendly with as many people inside and outside of your organization. Building positive relationships is critical.
6) Keep a record of your accomplishments i.e., documents you create, funds your secure, volunteers you manage, etc. This should help in updating your resume, speaking about your work on future job interviews, etc.
7) Don’t over-think… Or do? Sometimes really analyzing something might be the best way to determine if it is going to be beneficial or a job well done. But sometimes you don’t want to let something go too far to the point where you have invested too much time in it or you made a mistake and you are beating yourself up over it.
8) Get SNAP benefits and take advantage of free meals, budget, and make sure you have at least a basic understanding of benefits like your health coverage, education award, forbearance, NCE status (VISTA), etc. But don’t be afraid to ask a VISTA Leader, your supervisor, the CNCS office or contactthe National Service Hotline (1-800-942-2677) if you ever have any questions about things like that.
Have fun and don’t take life too seriously 🙂
There are probably many more pieces of advice that I can think of but hopefully these will prove helpful to some future members!