Meet Janeen McGreal, Lifelong Volunteer
What good is it to gain success in this life if you don’t share it with others?
Growing up, my family didn’t have much. But what my father had, he gave. I frequently witnessed him serving others and expecting nothing in return. But he did receive something: joy and lots of it!
I’ve achieved a lot in my professional life. I’ve made a good living as a financial executive, but none of that success brought me true fulfillment. It was only when I started volunteering to help others that I felt real satisfaction.
Perhaps you feel the same way. You have made it to a great place in your career, yet you want more. You may try to find contentment in working harder or playing more. I’m here to tell you there’s a better option: volunteering!
Why volunteer? Because doing good is good for everybody. I am certainly a lot happier when I celebrate bringing good results to others than when I get them for myself. It’s liberating to be able to say it’s not about Me, but about We!
My goal is to help others experience the joy that comes with being a lifelong volunteer. I love connecting with new volunteers and helping them find where they can make a difference.
After all, life’s too short to spend it all on joyless success. There’s no time like the present to share what you have with others!
I realize it’s one thing to say there are many benefits of volunteering. But it’s another thing entirely to give some examples of the benefits of volunteer work in action. So, here are some examples of how volunteering has brought fulfillment to my life:
FEI Chicago: Leadership and Connection
Financial Executives International (FEI) is an organization that helps senior-level financial executives advance in their careers. I joined the Chicago Chapter of the organization in 2007 and have served in many leadership roles since then. During this time, I helped found many of the chapter’s programs, including the CFO of the Year Awards, Annual Golf Outing and women’s groups.
My time at FEI has shown me the value of servant leadership and connection. It’s been a pleasure to see the programs I’ve co-created make a difference in my colleagues’ lives. The relationships it has fostered along the way are also some of my dearest friendships.
North Shore Women’s Mastermind Group: Collaboration and Growth
One of the best parts of volunteering is being able to create a force for good that didn’t exist before. That is what happened when I helped found this group for professional women in 2020. Each group meeting offers a space for members to collaborate and solve problems.
I have enjoyed being able to help others through this group. My favorite thing about it is the incredible growth I’ve been able to witness in so many amazing women.
Junior Achievement of Chicago: The Joy of Teaching
I love the work Junior Achievement does to help prepare kids to succeed in the global economy. I joined this organization as a board member and have also volunteered as a teacher. Both roles have been fulfilling and fun.
As a board member, I have enjoyed organizing trivia nights to raise over $280,000 for kids’ education. And as a teacher, it has been a ton of fun to teach kids from grades K-12 about the importance of financial literacy. Those kids will keep you young!
YWCA of Lake County: Empowering Women
I was asked to join the YWCA of Lake County board in 2017 and have served as Treasurer and Audit Chair. It’s a pleasure to be part of an organization that provides valuable health services, childcare and economic resources to the women in my community.
One of my greatest passions is to empower women. So, I will always be grateful that I had the opportunity to contribute to that cause.
MakeGirl: Inspiring Change
I am exceedingly proud to volunteer for MakeGirl. The organization educates girls ages 7-10 about science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) through 3D printing and other technologies.
I joined the organization because my daughter loves science. Plus, I’m passionate about helping advance the cause of gender equality in STEM fields. I cannot tell you how encouraging it has been to come alongside these brilliant young women and help them spread their wings.
FEI Chicago Analysts and Associates Board: Mentoring the Future
I started this group to help build up the next generation of finance leaders in Chicago. The group provides valuable mentorship and career development opportunities for some of the best and brightest young professionals.
Mentoring and supporting these young people brings me hope for the future. It’s exciting to know that the finance industry is in such good hands with these conscientious and brilliant young people.
About Janeen McGreal
Of course, I am not just a volunteer. I am the founder of a training business called Real Connections Coaching. We specialize in teaching individuals and businesses on ways to maximize their brand on LinkedIn. We also host a ProjectConnect workshop series that creates and strengthens personal bonds, in this crazy post pandemic world.
I also hold a bachelor’s degree in finance from the University of Wisconsin-Madison and a Master of Science degree in human resource management from Roosevelt University.
When I’m not volunteering or working, I enjoy spending time with my husband and three grown children. My friend Camille also has a husband and two grown children, and we all enjoy getting together anytime we can, which is easy since we all live in the Northern Suburbs. My favorite hobbies include networking on LinkedIn, walking with friends and camping/boating in Twin Lakes, WI.
How to Contact Janeen
Did my passion for volunteering strike a chord with you? I am always excited to meet and connect with people interested in volunteering. It would be my pleasure to help you get plugged in to a life of fulfilling volunteerism.
So, if you or someone you know is interested, please reach out! The best way to reach me is to connect and send a message on LinkedIn. I can’t wait to meet you!