Thursday, April 19, 2007

Idea #5 for Not Becoming a Needy Nitwit: Volunteer

This post is the fifth in a series that is responding to the book The Feminine Mistake. To better understand the purpose of this post, you might want to read this first.

I know many women think that once they get out of the workplace they don't have much to offer if and when they want to re-enter their field. With our ever-changing technology and culture, it can be difficult to stay current and marketable, especially when you could be out of the job market for one or two decades. According to Ms. Bennetts' book,it is virtually impossible to reenter the workforce, especially to a job of the same status and salary that you left. That can be true, but it doesn't need to be if you stay in the game. How?


I've been out of the marketplace for nearly 8 years and I still have a great resume because I've taken all of the volunteer jobs I've done and turned them into marketable skills. I haven't spent these 8 years letting my mind turn to mush (okay, maybe I did for a few years), I've been using my skills and talents for my church, school and community.

Here are just a few of the volunteer positions I've held since I've been a SAHM: editor of our church magazine, co-chaired a golf tournament, led a monthly mom's group for 60 women, organized a fashion show, wrote radio copy and print ads for non-profit organizations, sat on numerous committees, wrote a church crisis communication plan, taught a homeschool writing class, worked with print media on various stories relating to my church, rewrote and designed our church bulletin and all ministry brochures.

But how does co-chairing a golf tournament or organizing a fashion show enhance my resume with marketable skills? First, they show that I've stayed active in my field. Second, they enahnce my resume with current job experience rather than with accomplishments that are over 8 years old. Finally, they allow me to develop and sharpen many marketable skills like writing, editing, design and layout, managing time lines, managing and training volunteers, public speaking, developing and implementing marketing campaigns, and organizing events.

Of course, I did all that while raising kids and running a home. I think the corporate world likes to call that multi-tasking.

Not only have I gotten more job experience for the future, I am doing things I enjoy while keeping my professional skills sharp and in use. Do you love kids and use to work as a preschool teacher? Help out with VBS, teach Sunday School, or tutor kids at an after-school program.

Maybe numbers are your passion. Then volunteer to serve as the PTO's treasurer, serve as the banker at the next bake sale or offer to track sponsorships for the next funraiser.



Classic MaMa said...

Excellent, excellent ideas. I din't think of keeping my resume current with volunteer information! Bravo, MIA!

Thrills said...

Can you put blogging on your resume?

TCC said...

Oh, so that's what all this volunteering is for!!!