Part One: Networking

Advancing Your Career through VolunteerismThere is an old saying that goes, “it’s not what you know, but who you know.” In today’s job market this saying holds true. Networking is essential to not only finding a job, but for career advancement. Volunteering is an excellent opportunity to network with other professionals in your field.

By volunteering you will have the opportunity to network with people you might not have met otherwise. When you expand your network to include a nonprofit, the potential to find a mentor that helps you grow as a professional, or meeting a chief executive that offers you a chance at a fantastic new career grows exponentially.

There are many opportunities for networking while volunteering. Charity events and fundraisers are perfect for meeting other professionals who share a passion for the same cause as you. Offer your services to a nonprofit as a consultant and show off your skill set. Serve on a board of a nonprofit and use your common enthusiasm for that cause to start a relationship with other board members.

If you don’t have enough time to dedicate to becoming a board member or consultant for a nonprofit, don’t be discouraged. There are many volunteer opportunities that require only one day of service. Just because these volunteer opportunities don’t necessarily utilize your professional skills, doesn’t mean they can’t be a worthwhile networking opportunity. Chances are you’re not the only one struggling to find time to volunteer. Done-in-a-Day hands on projects are perfect for networking with other professionals

Take the first step towards personal development and start volunteering today. Not only will you get the personal satisfaction of helping a good cause, but you will have a multitude of opportunities to network with other professionals.

Sources:
http://career-advice.monster.com/job-search/getting-started/volunteering-can-boost-careers/article.aspx
http://www.cnn.com/2011/10/10/living/volunteer-cb
http://www.emergingleader.com/article3.shtm
http://www.helpguide.org/life/volunteer_opportunities_benefits_volunteering.htm

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