When you volunteer, you greatly enrich your life. I saw a post recently from Jason Brimhall talking about the volunteering efforts you can make, and how rewarding they can be. I talk about this as a way to make yourself more marketable, and it can be. You can build skills, get experience in an area, show leadership, or show that you are a well-rounded individual.
However it’s important to remember that these are commitments. They aren’t optional activities that you can skip if you don’t feel like it on a particular day. Choosing to volunteer is optional, but once you’ve done it, you need to follow through.
And you need to perform at the best level you can. Don’t shortcut your efforts for a volunteer organization. You can not volunteer again, but for the duration of what you’ve committed to, give them the same effort, or even more, that you would if you were being paid.
When starting with a new organization, volunteer in small ways, and make small commitments. That way if you don’t like it, you can stop without leaving them in a bind. If you do like, you can always increase your efforts, but pulling up short isn’t fair to the organization, or the people that depend on it.