In episode 44 of “The JoyPowered™ Workspace Podcast,” JoDee and Susan discuss how volunteer leadership can advance your career with Julie Petr, executive director of Dress for Success Indianapolis. Topics include how to get leadership opportunities on boards and committees, what type of nonprofit to volunteer for, and how to find the time to volunteer.
Volunteering is a great way to help your community, but also a fundamental way to elevate yourself professionally. Companies and organizations like to align their image and brand with well-regarded and well-established organizations that help people in the community, and employees who volunteer help represent and elevate the brand of their company. Volunteering also exposes you to other professionals and executives, broadening your network.
Volunteering in a leadership capacity can build skills that you can bring back to the workplace. Serving on committees and boards with professional executives shows you different styles of inspiring teams to achieve goals. It’s also more difficult to influence volunteer groups, since they’re not being paid, so it’s good practice for being a leader in your career.
There are several ways to get leadership opportunities in volunteer organizations. Starting as a volunteer can get you on the board’s radar, as can donating to the organization. If you know someone who’s already a committee or board member, that can be a good way to get your foot in the door; try asking them to nominate you. Know what you can bring to the table (for example, your professional experience) and sell yourself!
The best type of nonprofit to volunteer for is an organization that fits within something you’re passionate about, whether it’s a personal passion, something that’s affected someone you care about, or something related to the industry you work in. We have limited time and resources, so we have to be intentional; joining an organization that elevates your company, expands your network, and is something you care about is the perfect solution.
In this episode’s listener mail, Mike wants to know what to do; he’s going to be laid off soon and the company won’t allow his manager to provide a reference. In the “best practices sharing” segment, listeners share the things HR professionals taught them that have made them better HR professionals. In the news, JoDee and Susan discuss Starbucks’ recently launched caregiver benefits.