Volunteering Your Way Into an Association Job

I always knew that volunteering was good for the job search – it’s a great way to learn new skills, network, and explore other career options. Still, when interviewing association employees for the book, I Want a Job in an Association – Now What??:  A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society, even I was struck by how much volunteering had made an impact on people’s career paths.

One of the most unique stories involved a woman who started volunteering for the company she now works for – at 14 years old! Passionate about the mission, she stayed with them throughout high school, and then served as an intern in college. This was just one of her positive volunteering experiences. At her most recent job, she went in looking to volunteer, and came out with a job!

There are several different ways you can use volunteering to help you in your career including:

1) Testing out options: This is the ideal place to try out a new “profession.” If you want to get out of finance, join the marketing committee to see if you like it.

2) Networking: Whether you volunteer for an association based on your passion (ex. the environment), function (ex. marketing), or level (ex. executive), you’ll naturally make valuable industry contacts.    

3) Learning: Volunteering gives you the opportunity to acquire skills that you may not be able to pick up in your current position.  

To get started, check out volunteermatch.com or directly contact associations to get more information on volunteering with them.

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About Charlotte Weeks - Executive Career Coach / Executive Resume Writer / Outplacement Consultant

Prior to founding Weeks Career Services, Inc. Charlotte Weeks worked in human resources at a national association, where she experienced the hiring process from the other side. She's also the past president of The National Resume Writers' Association (The NRWA). Charlotte specializes in providing C-level executives (CEO, CFO, CMO, etc.), association executives, executive directors and senior-level professionals (director, VP, SVP, etc.) with comprehensive career coaching services and high-ROI resumes. She is author of "I Want a Job in an Association -- Now What?? A Guide to Getting a Job in a Professional Association, Membership Organization, or Society" and featured author of "101 Great Ways to Enhance Your Career." Additional book contributions include "The Twitter Job Search Guide," "Resumes That Pop!," and "Step-by-Step Cover Letters." As an internationally-recognized expert, Charlotte provides programs and documents tailored to each individual’s needs. To ensure that each person is given the highest quality of attention and service, Charlotte works with a limited number of new clients each month. For more information about Charlotte, please visit her Web site at www.WeeksCareerServices.com.
This entry was posted in Association Career, Career Management, Job Opportunities, Job Search, Networking and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink.

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