Gaining Experience Through Volunteering - Deepstash

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How to Gain Credibility When You Have Little Experience

Gaining Experience Through Volunteering

Working on projects as an intern or an unpaid volunteer provides us with the hands-on knowledge we need to jumpstart our careers.

Volunteering for projects provides us with new opportunities to learn and grow, while building our network.

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Share Your Expertise
  • Nothing helps deepen knowledge as effectively as sharing it.
  • It expands what you know. Sharing your expertise means inviting a new conversation. 
  • It establishes your reputation as an authority.
  • It increases your professional value. When your expertise helps the entire team, you become a more valuable part of it. 
Become a Mentor
  • There’s no shortage of young professionals looking for guidance. Share the hard earned lessons you’ve collected over the years.
  • Keep your eyes, ears, and mind open. The best part about mentorship is that when it’s a strong partnership, both people learn equally. 
Write
  • You’re automatically afforded a certain level of authority. It seems strange, but writers are presumed to be experts. Just be sure that whatever you put into writing is something you stand by wholeheartedly and are proud of.
  • This can quickly elevate your professional visibility and shape your reputation as a leader in your field. 
Leverage Social Media
Leverage Social Media

Social media is an incredibly powerful tool for personal branding. 

  • Your up-to-date profiles can tout your skills and accomplishments for you, without you so much as saying a word.
  • Try joining LinkedIn groups or Twitter chats to participate in discussions relevant to your industry and connect with fellow professionals.
Focus on Relationships

Don't pressure yourself into thinking that you need to be the center of attention or speak with a large audience.

If you continue to build one meaningful relationship at a time with the people who actually matter to you, by setting up informal meetings or coffee dates, you'll actually end up with a stronger personal brand than those people who fly around networking events engaging in endless conversations about the weather.

Expand Your Qualifications

Expanding your skills and expertise is a surefire way to solidify and improve your personal brand

Once you complete your extracurricular, make sure to post your new certification on your LinkedIn, your resume (if relevant) and your personal website to cash in on the branding payoff.

How employees perceive leaders
How employees perceive leaders

Recent surveys have shown that employees can be grouped in two main categories, according to their perception of a new leader:

  • Warriors: they evaluate your knowledge, know-how and if you are really able to help them
  • Worriers: they focus on the leadership approach that the new leader has designed for the company.

When taking over a management position, planning your transition as well as paying attention to the way you behave with the others are aspects that need to be taken into account.

Become more relatable as a new leader

Relationships with supervisors can be powerful motivators.

Enough personal information as to make yourself seem more relatable provided at an appropriate time might just be the key to a future successful career.

Make your leadership story successful

Introducing yourself as the new leader of a team can be pretty challenging, as people will want to know more about yourself as well as about your plans in regards to the future of the company.

Explain patiently why you chose this path and how you plan on improving the chosen department. Employees also appreciate it when you explain why your new position is integral to your story and, most important, how your direct reports play a critical role in that story.