The transition between careers, whether you’re new to the job market or not, is difficult for anyone. Further, it’s becoming increasingly difficult to actually get your foot in the door if you’re not familiar with influencers in your industry. So, how can you land the job of your dreams if you’re feeling a little helpless? How about volunteering within your industry?
Just like interning, volunteering gives you the opportunity to gain experience while building up your resume. However, volunteering differs from interning since many people work for organizations that deal with charitable causes. Further, volunteering is great between projects not just for its humanitarian aspects, but also for its professional brand benefits.
But, can volunteering actually land you a job? Yes. Here’s how:
Network. If you were working in an organization day after day, making powerful connections and leads, you’d find it beneficial, right? Further, you’d probably do as much as you can to show off your skills in order to promote your professional brand. Guess what? That’s networking. As with any other activity, networking while volunteering can help you connect with people internally and externally, which may land you a link to a potential career. Think about making a real effort to get to know the people you’ll be volunteering with.
Additionally, you should probably try to help others with their own agendas as well since networking works both ways. Regardless though, the more people that know about your job search the better, so try to network as much as possible.
Move up within the organization. More times than not, people move up within an organization because of their attachment to it, like who they know or how long they’ve been there. If you have volunteered at a particular organization for an extended period of time and you’ve impressed high-ranking individuals, it may be easier to actually land a job within the company.
So, if you are aware of a job opening, you may want to express your interest, while at the same time showing that you can actually do it well. How? Think about helping the organization reach its goals to the best of your ability, even if you are a volunteer. Your drive, as well as your passion for the cause, will probably impress management, making it easier to land a job within the company.
Land a powerful recommendation. Many charitable organizations are not only well-known, but also they are run by powerful individuals. Besides knowing that you have helped out your community, you should also feel that you established a good relationship out of your volunteering experience. So, don’t be afraid to ask for a testimonial from these high-ranking individuals. After all, the thoughts of an experienced influencer may do wonders for your professional brand.
Do your best to not only create a relationship with these people, but also maintain it. That way, when you do need a little push into an organization, that powerful contact may be the key to your dream career.
Has volunteering landing you a job?
James Alexander is Vizibility’s founder and CEO. He’s the guy with two first names. If you ‘Googled’ his name in 2009, you would never have found him. Now, he ranks within the first few results of a Google search. Find James in Google at vizibility.com/james.