agree that volunteering can help boost their career. “Volunteering pays huge career-building dividends,” affirms Angela Eason, Deloitte Consulting senior manager and corporate volunteer. Eason, who volunteers with several Southern California nonprofits and serves on the board of the National Black M.B.A. Association, explains that volunteering gives professionals the opportunity to network with peers, share existing skills, learn new ones, and add to their portfolio of work experience–all of which she says can lead to career advancement.
Eason further supports her claim with additional findings and recommends these strategies for maximizing your volunteer experiences:
87% of survey respondents said volunteering can expand an individual’s network of business contacts. Volunteer with your professional or alumni associations. Ask your mentor, boss, or colleagues with which organizations they volunteer and consider joining them.
78% of survey respondents said volunteering can help an individual develop skills that can be used at work. Choose projects that allow you to develop transferable skills such as planning, budgeting, project management, writing, and public speaking.
Consider participating in other projects outside of your profession to take advantage of cross-functional training.
81% of survey respondents said volunteering can enhance an individual’s professional reputation. Ask colleagues about their volunteer activities and invite them to get involved in yours. And if you receive awards for your efforts don’t be afraid to display them around your work space.