MSEJ July 2016 - Page 21

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experience I need to become a project manager. Write down your career goals, and if the opportunity doesn't further them, find something else that will.

-Volunteer in an organization related to the industry you hope to join. If you want to be a veterinarian, you can’t volunteer to be one, but you can volunteer with an organization that gives you experience in a similar setting while networking to gain contacts in that field.

-Pick up and ask for projects that will allow you to develop the skills you need. Once

you are in the right setting, be vocal about what you hope to learn in the volunteer position. Pitch ideas for projects you can complete that will help the organization while also helping you to reach your goals. That’s not to say that as a volunteer you won’t have to complete tasks that don’t directly relate to your goals, but you can build the skills you want by selling them as an asset to your organization.

-Publicize your experience. Have you found a volunteer opportunity that enhances your skillset? Make sure to include it on your resume and in your LinkedIn® profile if you are actively looking for work.

-Know when to move on. If you are TRULY volunteering for professional purposes, then you have to know when it’s time to move on. Focus on the volunteer opportunity and do good work, BUT do not let it replace your end goal of finding a job. Revisit your career goals regularly to make sure that you stay focused.

Only you can decide whether volunteering is right for you and why you want to volunteer. If volunteering is part of your career strategy, ensure that your volunteerism will lead to the skills or the job you want.