I’m trying to redirect my career toward helping nonprofits design, implement, and use information technology to improve their work and extend their capacity. Being fairly new to Seattle, I’m looking for groups to become involved with that are also at the intersection of nonprofits and technology. I welcome suggestions! I’ll also buy you a beer if you work in technology for nonprofits in Seattle and want to tell me about what you do.
I want to share my job search secret: volunteering. I got my first job after college by volunteering. Even if you don’t want to work in nonprofits, if you’re looking for a job and you’re frustrated by the search, you should try volunteering. It’s also a great morale booster if you’re stuck in a thankless job that you don’t like, or if you move to a new place and want to widen your social circle.
- Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. People know other people, and they can sometimes help you get a job.
- Volunteering shows people that you are able to follow instructions, work well with others, complete tasks, make value, and other nice marketable things. Sometimes someone will see your volunteer work and want to hire you.
- Often you can learn new marketable skills by volunteering to do something you don’t quite know how to do yet (just please be careful and don’t break anything).
- Volunteering is a nice thing to put on your resume.
- Volunteering helps keep you on a regular schedule. Schedules help keep you from sitting on the couch in your PJs all day, which is counterproductive to the job search.
- Volunteering gives you a sense of accomplishment that you may be sorely lacking when unemployed.
- Volunteering makes people smile at you and say “thank you,” which is a great mood and confidence booster.
- Volunteering can be addictive, and when you get a job you will likely still find time to volunteer doing something you enjoy with people you like.
I excited because I started some new volunteer projects last week!
Don’t know where to start? Check out idealist.org, or ask people you already know if they volunteer.