What better time of year than Thanksgiving week to consider volunteering. Volunteering is good for your community, society and your soul. It also is a way to continue to build professional skills and resume friendly experience, while doing good.
Following is a step by step guide to identifying and securing a meaningful volunteer position. Carefully select an organization based on your interests and capabilities. These may include:
· Non-government organizations
· Chambers of Commerce
· Convention & Visitors’ Bureaus
· Municipal offices
· Economic development centers
Once you have targeted an organization, review volunteer policies. Consider areas the organization needs help. Create your own position based on your professional knowledge and abilities. As a professional communicator, you can showcase your value in several ways:
· Revamp and manage social media efforts
· Design and/or write newsletters
· Handle fundraising efforts
· Support event planning and marketing
· Create a media relations plan
· Train and mentor other volunteers, clients or members
· Identify and support new marketing or public relations initiatives
Set specific goals for your volunteer efforts:
· Contribute to the organization’s success (education, awareness, funding, etc.)
· Fill resume gaps with meaningful work
· Develop or improve new skills
· Secure current references
· Secure a paid position at the organization
· Improve your interpersonal skills and maintain your confidence
· Benefit society!
As you volunteer be sure to continue with the job hunt, save portfolio friendly work and maintain a positive and confident outlook. By showcasing your value and contributing to an organization’s success, you will gain experience, make valuable contacts and may even parlay your volunteer position into a paid fulltime spot! If your goals was to secure meaningful full-time employment, be sure to “pay” it forward and continue to volunteer your time and expertise to your favorite charity organization.