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Volunteer Your Way To The Top!

This may sound a bit crazy; however, as a Gen Y there are many ways you can gain valuable experience by volunteering. Everywhere you look organizations are seeking volunteers to help their growth. These volunteer opportunities give Millennials the ability to create programs that make a difference and create a competitive advantage to move forward in the workplace.

This may sound a bit crazy; however, as a Gen Y there are many ways you can gain valuable experience by volunteering.

Everywhere you look organizations are seeking volunteers to help their growth. These volunteer opportunities give Millennials the ability to create programs that make a difference and create a competitive advantage to move forward in the workplace.

Whether you are just entering the workforce or are currently a manager who might need to develop specific skills, here are 3 important skills that can be developed by volunteering:

LEADERSHIP

This is probably one of the most difficult skills to develop if you are not in a people management position. Many companies do not know where their next leaders are and in many ways it is a catch 22–the hiring manager won’t hire you without the experience and without the job you cannot get the experience. Volunteering for leadership positions is an ideal way to get this experience. Seek out volunteer opportunities that are credible such as a board position or chair of a high-profile fundraiser. Another option is to utilize sites like volunteermatch.org to view more than 3,000 leadership positions across the United States in order to find the one that is right for you.

TEAM BUILDING

If you are an extravert, working with others might be second nature to you; however, if you are an introvert, the idea of working with a large group of people on a project might not be your cup of tea! Team building is an important management skill that helps organizations and companies improve performance. Companies want to know that you have the ability to build a team that delivers results. Many companies and communities sponsor events, which can be great ways to volunteer and to develop great team building skills.

COLLABORATION

Being able to work with others and develop a common set of goals is one of the most important skills for success. When I worked for Kellogg’s, creating a collaborative environment was one of our personal performance measures. Collaboration is an incubator for great ideas and volunteering offers you the opportunity to bring these ideas to life.

Volunteering creates an opportunity to develop your leadership, team building and collaboration skills, while promoting good causes and improving the quality of life for others. Seek out volunteer opportunities near you for a way to build your credibility and be successful when it comes to your work life as well!

Elisa Webb Hill

Elisa is a workforce strategy and innovation expert. Prior to becoming a speaker and trainer, she held senior roles in such notable companies as Kellogg’s, Coca-Cola, and Federated Department Stores. She brings these executive management insights to her presentations, helping organizations navigate workforce shifts, engage young professionals, and implement future-focused talent strategies.

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