If you are looking for ways to improve the accomplishments and skill sets you can list on your resume, consider Strategic Volunteerism by helping a non-profit organization while helping yourself.
Strategic Volunteering is Paying It Forward with a twist – you are volunteering to provide services that will double as an additional resume entry.
Angela Dorsey in a recent Wall Street Journal article describes it as “a strategic path serving as a career track for a paid job opportunity”.
The keys are to choose a volunteer role in an organization that meets one of these criteria:
- Demonstrates you still are able to perform an existing skill previously used in a career position, if you are seeking a position with this skill
- Shows that you are able to contribute by develop a new skill, if you are switching occupations
- Provides you an opportunity to log hours of experience required by certain professional certification organizations
- Gives you the opportunity to network among individuals and organizations to expand your circle of contacts of influence
Additionally, the organization should have a reputable position in the community. This doesn’t mean that the organization has to be a household name such as United Way, but a quick check of an internet search engine should not reveal any recent negative or controversial articles. Some of the organizations that need the greatest help are those with a small, neighborhood focus. They are also less likely to have someone in place to provide the skills you can offer.
As an example, Eric Charles Jirgens, used Strategic Volunteerism to provide interior design services to a women’s shelter. Eric owns a design firm but wanted to help others during this business downturn cycle.
Have you tried Strategic Volunteerism? Did it provide the added benefits you sought? Let us know, please by sharing your comments below.