Volunteering Your Way to Success 1, A great idea and a good place to start is by asking yourself a basic question:
What kind of skills and experience do you need to develop in order to move into the kind of dream job you have in mind?
Take a good look at your profile and do a bit of analysis to figure out what you would like to build up. 2, Identify the kind of volunteering project that will help you gain experience and showcase your skills. You might want to look up multiple job descriptions for the type of job you eventually want to apply for – look at the experience needed. Then brainstorm ideas on how to gain that type of experience. For example, say you have got some solid customer skills in problem solving and analyzing stock and production . Your logical next step is to find an organization or charity with a need that matches your goal. Find a volunteering organization around you that needs to provideyou with such oppotunity that would enable you to demonstrate your skills and impliment your ideas on production and stock. 3, Take some time to really research non-profits or for-profit organizations in your area or within your professional network, and focus in on those that are less established and that might have greater need of volunteers. Narrow it down to a couple that resonate with you - ones that genuinely match your interests, availability, and your goals. You are better off in the longer term taking time to find the right match than investing time and effort in a position or organization that is a poor fit. Once you have created a list of options, then you need to find out who to speak to, understand what their needs are, and ask how you could help. Be ready to give your pitch on how you are the person to help them solve a problem. You will need to be able to explain what you skills are or what you're capable of doing. Make sure you do not try to do a project that you have zero knowledge about but rather join the team to learn how it is done. You should take each volunteer opportunity as seriously as you would a paying job. 4, This step is all about planning. Because once you have identified your needs, identified your opportunity, and gotten a clear sense of the needs of your target organization, you are going to need a plan to pull it all together. That means the end goal of your project; its scope; deliverables from you (including how much time you are going to be spending working), timelines, and budget. Treat your volunteering opportunity just the same as you would treat a regular work project. And be prepared to submit your plan as a proposal to the volunteer coordinator-- and be flexible enough to make any suggested modifications. 5, Of course, your professional end goal is to gain the experience you need to take the next step in your career. So part of your plan needs to include how you will showcase your work. Your final step is to document everything you do as a volunteer. The goals, the processes, the learnings, - and don’t forget to secure some references from the executive suite of your organization. Be sure to add this experience to your resume and your LinkedIn profile.