Volunteering is an excellent way to network as it’s an opportunity to meet people and have them see you in action helping others. There are many advantages to this way of networking:
1) Depending on the activity, you may end up encountering the same people at various volunteer events, making it easier to know them more in-depth.
2) For those who shy away from traditional “meet and greet” networking, volunteering is a great excuse to meet others because all of you have a “job” and are working towards a common goal, a great way to break the ice.
3) You have the opportunity to add new skills to your career qualifications such as: delivering training, writing a grant, leading a team, raising funds, and solving new kinds of problems. If you are making a career change, this is a great way to bridge any skill gaps between your current role and your future one.
4) You may end up landing a job in the organization for which you volunteer.
There are numerous web sites listing volunteer opportunities, including:
Interested in helping a specific population or cause like people with disabilities or the environment? Check the Internet for community service organizations or non-profit organizations near you for additional opportunities. Help others, build your network, gain new skills, and promote social change – all at the same time!