Volunteer your spare time -- For fun and profit!

Looking for a way to make new contacts by helping others, have fun, and land new employment – all at the same time?

One of the most successful places to meet new people is at the meetings of volunteer groups, generally affiliated with a non-profit or charity organization.   Atlanta has scores of these monthly gatherings, and with varied memberships catering to many age and interest groups.  Find one that appeals to you and meets nearby, then go make some new acquaintances.  You will be pleasantly surprised how friendly and accepting these volunteers can be.

Depending on the organization you select, you can have fun attending monthly cocktail parties, educational seminars, entertainment, charity activities, and/or the many other events sponsored by the group.  Helping others is always a morale booster, and you may find you’re being uplifted as you support others. 

You can simply attend and enjoy the events, but an even better way to make new contacts is to volunteer your time to help with the association.  You will get to know the organization’s leaders and they will introduce you to other members.  Volunteering will allow you to display your abilities to these new friends, many of whom may be executives with useful connections.  In addition, you will keep your skills current and have a positive outlet for your spare time.

The following is a true story and since it is a great example of the value of using non-profit organizations in your job search, I want to share it with you.  Several years ago, I was chairman of a local museum support group.  I met “John,” an accountant who recently had moved to Atlanta and had joined the organization to make friends in his new hometown.  John volunteered to assist us with our annual fundraiser and was assigned to work on the Treasurer’s committee.  In his professional life, this Treasurer was the Controller with a large corporation in Atlanta, and he was so impressed with John’s enthusiasm and abilities, that he arranged an interview with his firm for a position in his department.  With this recommendation, John was offered a job there.

All non-profit organizations need volunteers.  Choose a group that interests you, and attend the meetings and social gatherings.  Many organizations also sponsor special interest volunteer groups – a Young Professionals sub-group, for example, will cater to professionals under age 35 or so.  Then actively participate, especially in a function that will allow you to demonstrate your skills and abilities.  It will keep you current in your field, and you will make many new friends and contacts – one of whom may be the source of your next job.

Can you make new friends and have fun while conducting a job search?  You bet!  Try volunteering and see for yourself.