Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Volunteering as Networking

With the downturn of the economy, many people approached me (in both my professional and volunteer leadership capacities) to help them find things: mentors, connections, jobs, etc. While I haven't had the bandwidth to personally help with all of these requests, I do have one consistent piece of advice - Volunteer! Why? Because your volunteer networks can become your job and mentor seeking networks. When looking to transition into the nonprofit sector as a profession, I had to evaluate who could serve as a reference for me regarding these specific skill sets - and it almost always came back to my fellow volunteers, past and present.

Want to see if a volunteer network could benefit you? Here are some questions to ask yourself:
  • Outside of work, where am I involved?
  • What is the list of people that I could call today for a favor or introduction?
  • Could the leaders of organizations for which I volunteer serve as a reference for me?
  • Have I tracked the impacts of my volunteer service/projects? (this is a BIG one, and I'll go into more detail in an upcoming blog post)
By looking at the individuals in your volunteer network, you greatly open up your networking possibilities. It's never too late to start - find a volunteer opportunity that fits (strategically) with your goals and utilize that opportunity to expand your possibilities.

No comments:

Post a Comment