Volunteer work is more than just a feel good way to help others. It can actually provide skill development in a way that is not always possible in your position at work. Oftentimes, professionals and job applicants are faced with challenges because they don’t have direct experience in a particular job. Volunteer work is an excellent way to broaden your skills and gain managerial experience that can help you succeed in the workplace. Here are five volunteer positions that can help you build and strengthen your management skills.
Charity Board Member
One thing that every nonprofit has in common is that they all have a board of directors. The board of directors is the governing body of the organization and they are responsible for approving budgets, establishing long-term strategies, overseeing various organizations policies, and helping to raise money. This is an excellent way to get experience governing an organization and dealing with its daily operations. Given the wide range of responsibilities a board of directors has, there are opportunities to learn about multiple aspects of running an organization.
The PTO, which stands for Parent Teacher Organization, is an organization that connects teachers and parents so they can better meet the needs of students and their school. The PTO works to provide ways to improve education while also looking for ways to solve challenges that face the school district. Schools often have fewer resources than they need, and the PTO works with fellow parents and stakeholders to provide donations and assistance where needed. PTO members have various jobs ranging from collecting canned goods and box tops at schools to organizing and leading fundraising campaigns. This is a great position to gain negotiation and leadership skills, both of which are highly valuable for managers.
Churches abound with volunteer opportunities and positions that require leadership skills. Perhaps you might be in charge of organizing the church picnic or even organizing the food bank. Whatever the role, church volunteers are given the chance to lead others while also connecting with people of various backgrounds. It is a great opportunity to try new things in a risk free environment and build on skills like problem solving, goal setting, and team building.
Volunteers are an integral part of community life and are necessary to keep communities growing and thriving. Communities rely on volunteers for things like public libraries, beautification committees, neighborhood watch programs, community sports programs, and special events like picnics and parades. When you take on a community volunteer position, you will develop a number of professional skills that can help you in your professional career as well. You will learn how to lead a team, create agendas, and delegate tasks in order to accomplish goals for the community.
Homeowners Association Board Member
If you live in a neighborhood that has a Homeowners Association, it could be beneficial for you to volunteer as a board member. HOA’s often make it possible for residents in your neighborhood to enjoy services that the city cannot provide and a well-managed HOA can help to keep your neighborhood safe and beautiful. This is a great chance to be in a leadership position without assuming too many risks. This is also a smaller leadership position than perhaps a large nonprofit or a school board, so it’s a great stepping stone into a larger future role. Being on the HOA board will help you learn how to listen and communicate with a variety of people. It will also give you the chance to look for solutions to problems and come up with new and creative ideas to enhance your neighborhood. All of these are important management skills that would prove useful in your career as well.