Thursday, December 26, 2013

A Word About Voluntary Work

When we think about work experience, we assume that it only translates to tasks and projects for which we've gotten paid.

But what if I tell you that in some instances, voluntary work, or work done without getting remuneration in cash or kind, can beef up your professional profile as well?

I've heard about plenty of freelancing professionals who, after getting several years of experience tucked underneath their belt, mature into specialists or develop some sort of expertise. And then they seek out ways to help people or organizations by mentoring or teaching.

Volunteering is also a form of networking, and by getting out there and offering your skills, you are also learning effective interpersonal relations.

So, when it comes to work done without pay, here's the general rule:

Include any voluntary experience that is related to your field.

If you've volunteered a lot in the past, narrow them down by making sure your experiences meet the following criteria:
  • You were able to use some or nearly all of the skills you have mastered in your profession.
  • You led or supervised a team that benefited from your expertise. 
  • You gave a talk or seminar about the dynamics of your profession in order to give participants a head start or a push towards the right direction.

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