Want to diversify your portfolio of experience?
Want to try out some new marketing ideas on a real organization?
Are you a writer, but would like to try designing? Or vice-versa?
Are you having trouble getting valuable project experience?
Maybe you just want to use your established talent and knowledge to make a real difference?
The simplest and most obvious way to use your skills to make an immediate and measurable impact (and to bulk up your resume) is to go where it’s needed the most: Non-profits.
Your average non-profit is typically a poster child for strained resources – and they offer some great opportunities to volunteer beyond the actual grunt work.
Here’s how I’d do it:
1) Pick a favorite or two.
2) If you don’t have a relationship with them yet, don’t go knock on the door and ask to write their next newsletter. Instead, start with grunt work. Help them build a home or serve soup or foster a dialogue – whatever it is that they do.
3) Leverage your new or existing relationships and offer to help with not only your labor, but brain power as well. If it’s design you want to do, ask if they need help or if you could take a stab at designing a project they’re working on.
If you’re a social media geek – get them blogging, linking, twittering. All that good stuff.
If you’re a numbers fella, maybe you could help balance a budget and set some fiscal goals.
If you’re an event coordinator – jackpot!
4) Remind yourself that the real goal here is to help the non-profit achieve whatever it may be striving for. You’re here to help, help, help. Not boss. Not be arrogant. You’re blossoming resume and on-task knowledge is a neat bonus.
Besides, this is what you love to do, right?
5) Give it your all. Duh.
Did I leave anything out?