Loyalty Leader Quick Tips

Don’t Be a Deadbeat Volunteer

June 7, 2013

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Volunteering is a powerful networking tool if you want to find a new job or sell more products and services. It has been practiced by successful businessmen for generations. As women have come into their own professionally, they are also mastering the art of networking through volunteerism. Volunteering evens the playing field and gives you an opportunity to demonstrate your business skills.Volunteering gives you a venue to build your reputation, demonstrate your talents and connect with power brokers.When you serve on nonprofit committees and boards, socioeconomic barriers are removed. Your position in your company or salary level may not be as high as some of the other board members but this no longer matters. Instead, you are all volunteers who care about kids, or cancer research, or hunger, or whatever the cause may be.Volunteering for the wrong reasons and poor time management can also cause irreparable damage to a person’s career. We all know people who volunteer and then never show up for mandatory meetings or fail to follow through on their assignments. These people are often referred to by others as “deadbeat volunteers.” Just as a stellar volunteer track record can build your credibility and your career, a dismal track record can damage your reputation and even your business.Volunteering basics:

  • Don’t choose to serve on a board just because important names appear on the nonprofit letterhead. Only volunteer for a board or committee if you sincerely believe in the cause and you intend to treat your commitment as a job.  
  • Don’t expect to step onto high-powered boards unless you are a CEO of a major corporation or very wealthy.
  • Volunteerism is the same as building a career. Earn your position on a board by taking it one step at a time. Serve on a committee or organize a special event. If you’ve handled yourself professionally and have demonstrated integrity, you’ll be recognized and invited to move up the volunteer ladder. 

Volunteer for projects that enable you to showcase your skills.Most organizations offer a wide variety of opportunities in which to serve. You can write articles or press releases to help promote the cause. You can plan a special event or participate in direct fundraising. You can create PowerPoint presentations or produce a video to showcase the organization. If you are good at public speaking, you can present awards or emcee events sponsored for or by the organization. Tap into projects that you find interesting and genuinely enjoy doing. This will help you to stay engaged and demonstrate your unique talents and skills in the best light possible. Other volunteers, staff, and community members will remember your commitment and professionalism. This often leads to new and unexpected business opportunities.

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