Tips to Help You Find the Right Strategic Volunteering Experience
Deciding to return to the workforce after any length of time away is a daunting prospect that can leave you feeling unsure and insecure. You might wonder if your work experience is still relevant or if you have the most up-to-date skills and knowledge base necessary to succeed in today’s fast-paced, technology-focused market. Perhaps you worry that you won’t be able to handle a heavy workload or you might not be ready to work full-time, but you know that part-time opportunities are rare. You could be overwhelmed by the commitment required to look for a job. All of these concerns are valid and make it difficult to take the first step back into the professional environment.
Whether you decide to jump into the deep end or put a toe in the water, it’s a good idea to consider strategic volunteer opportunities that can help get you back on track and assist you in achieving both your short- and long-term career goals.
What is strategic volunteering?
Strategic volunteering enables you to select projects which utilize your skills to give back to your community while also providing you with valuable professional experiences. Look for projects or organizations that provide...
Support - Look for projects based on your demonstrated strengths in relevant skill sets that allow you to partner with other team members with complementary skills.
Flexibility - Work-life balance is critical, so pursue organizations that are willing to customize a schedule that fits into your busy life.
Collaboration - Choosing a company that understands your goals and helps you achieve them is important, especially when re-entering the workforce after an extended period of time.
Empowerment - Once you start working with an organization, you will quickly be reminded of how valuable and relevant your skills are in today’s competitive marketplace, which will ultimately transform your personal and professional outlook.
Acceleration - Getting back into the workforce in a volunteer capacity accelerates your career with resume-building experience that will be valuable to any future employer.
The Acceleration Project (TAP) is a strategic volunteer opportunity that encompasses every one of these important attributes. TAP allows you to lend your skills to local businesses who will benefit from your knowledge and expertise.
TAP is a dual mission organization: TAP’s diverse and talented consultants provide strategic advice to small businesses in areas such as marketing, strategy, finance and operations, allowing them to grow and thrive, ultimately revitalizing their local economies. In addition, TAP actively recruits, hires and trains accomplished female professionals, providing them with meaningful consulting and networking opportunities to re-ignite and augment their career development.
Comprised of a network of accomplished, seasoned professional women, TAP has an incredible talent pool of over 100 volunteers who have gone through exactly what you are going through and they have terrific things to say about their experience:
• “Working for TAP was a great kick-start in returning to the workforce”
• “The TAP family provided me with training sessions/camaraderie that helped build my confidence and professional skills”
• “TAP gave me the opportunity to use my business experience and skills in a low risk, supportive, collaborative, results-oriented environment and provided me with current, meaningful projects and results to share with prospective employers.”
• “The sense of purpose, the talent, the professionalism and the camaraderie I experienced at TAP was astounding.”
• “My experience with TAP was a great way to remain current and productive.”
TAP recruits twice a year and is currently accepting applications through January 31st for their next cohort. To learn more about TAP and how to apply, visit their website at www.theaccelerationproject.org.
Jane Veron is CEO and co-Founder of The Acceleration Project. Jane spent her career in business strategy and marketing, working at Bain & Company and American Express, and plays an active role as an investor and board member in private equity and venture capital. Jane is also an elected government official serving on the Scarsdale Board of Trustees. Jane earned a BA from Yale University and an MBA from Harvard Business School.