Preparing for Post-COVID-19 Economic Uncertainty:
How to volunteer and create career opportunities
Scientific writer: I make the complex compelling
April 23,2020 at 8:06PM UTC
In these uncertain times, charitable organizations will need help – so will our careers
We have started into what is expected to be the largest economic decline since the Great Depression, according to the IMF. With economic shutdowns and millions of job losses around the world, many of us are wondering how secure our jobs are, and how the companies we work for will weather this crisis.
In uncertain times like this, it’s natural to focus on maintaining your salary and position and easy to lose sight of your longer-term career goals. Maybe this is our chance to do something really good for our careers and help our communities during a crisis.
Yes, you do, at any stage of your career, have something valuable to offer a charity
‘What can I offer?’, can be an intimidating question. Like any company, charities need people with all types of skills. More than that, regardless of age or career progression we can all offer: time, ideas, energy and influence.
4 things charity work has to offer
Gain work experience: Accelerate your career
How many jobs have you not applied for because you didn’t have the right experience? Many volunteer organizations are small; they need volunteers to step up and fill in whichever vacant role and perform a wide variety of tasks. Your current professional skills will probably get you in the door. I.e. Do you speak more than one language? You will probably be asked to translate, but perhaps you would like to try your hand at communications. If you show you’re willing, you could learn skills and gain experience, faster than you would in your paid career.
Expand your network: Make connections across industries
You will meet new people with a range of backgrounds and professions, and from every career level. Networking as a volunteer means that everyone you meet gets to see you working for something you are passionate about – and they share that passion. Recommendations and references from volunteer work, can be among the best.
Explore a passion without the risk of a career change
Volunteering gives you a low-risk way to explore an interest or a career change. Discover you’re not as passionate about wildlife conservation as you thought you were, or did the communications projects you tried, just not feel right? Try another department or another charity. There’s a lot of good to be done.
You will feel fantastic
Offering help and working for a cause you care about is uniquely satisfying and rewarding. Volunteering lets you feel a sense of connection to your community that not many people ever experience. It’s a certain way to meet like-minded people and make friends.
How to find volunteer opportunities: It’s easier than you think
I live in Switzerland. There are over 13,000 charitable organizations here. America? 1.4 million. It’s not World Wildlife Fund or bust. Wherever you live, you will find a charity that matches your interests. Think about causes you could get passionate about and research charities working in those areas. Once you have narrowed your list, see if you have any connections in the charity or just call them up and ask to talk to the Volunteer Coordinator.
You have a lot to offer and a lot to gain.
Good luck and thank you
More to come.
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Not sure what else I can do..
Just over a year ago I got a new boss. She came in strong and made some changes that a lot were not happy with. She claims to be holding people accountable but she’s really just pointing the finger and persecuting everyone for their mistakes.
There are a lot more details behind the situation that I can’t share but I have made two lengthy complaints to HR and an anonymous report to our ethics board. Going to her boss would mean speaking to the president of the division and I’m not sure I’m comfortable with that.
One of my direct reports has quit because of her and I am also looking for other employment. Several others have stated the same (which was shared with HR). I feel as if I’ve done my due diligence for my team but nothing is being done above me.
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Just need to mildly vent.
I recently lost my contract job and have had to start the applying and interview process again UGH! Anyway, have a second interview with a company for a position that I’m over qualified for and will be making a lot less money. The second interview is where I have to do a presentation followed by questions. Not thrilled by no issues. What I am annoyed with is having to send them my presentation in advanced. I was more prepared to just take over the screen and present. Why do companies feel that they can ask for your work and possibly use a later date. It is bad enough when you are asked questions about a past project that the company may also be considering and want to know your ideas and processes on how you accomplished it. (You see them writing down notes during this specific conversation), and not call you back for the next stage of interview.
So of course going to put in pdf, no notes, and password protect which is about all that can be done.
Just needed to get this off my chest
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I'm going to go a little differently on this.
While I appreciate the employee's personal challenges, you both have roles that need to be performed for the company. I actually am sensing some manipulation by the employee and you stepped straight into it. If she is messaging you on Facebook, that means that you probably added her as a personal friend. It sounds like potential manipulation lured you into blurring boundaries that could set you up for a challenging situation down the road particularly if her performance is not up to par. It is possible to be an empathetic leader while also maintaining appropriate workplace boundaries. Many people today are going through different types of struggles. The balance is in finding humanity while also having realistic expectations of them to perform their role and being clear on the boundaries. It's fantastic the employee is in therapy but therapy is not something to be weaponized for poor performance. Incredibly, there's nothing in this long post about how this employee is actually performing their job. I think more of your time should be spent on helping her achieve career goals versus getting into her personal situation about which you only hear one side. I found that it's best to maintain professional boundaries especially with someone who reports to you. If you decide to be friends after one of you leaves the job, that's completely fine. But while you're on the job, situations like this are fraught with landmines.
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When implementing a rewards and recognition program is it better to implement rewards and recognition based on individual or team performance or a combination of the two?
What types of rewards and recognition have you found to be most effective for increasing employee engagement and commitment to the organisation?
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What is going on with this forum?!
Some of the posters are so nice and supportive…and others just want to tear women down! It’s so incredibly sad. I keep reading things and wonder if the person would respond the same way if they were speaking in-person. Maybe keep scrolling if you can’t be civil and constructive?
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Seeking opinions about group interviews...
I had a virtual group interview this week. It was one interviewer and about 10 candidates. The job seekers were asked one question and each was asked to answer it one after another with no discourse in between.
I didn't feel that any candidates really stood out or made a significantly better impression than any others. (Except possibly me. I went last and was from a vastly different background than the other candidates-- and not in a great way.)
As a person who was been responsible for the hiring process at organizations in the past, I don't see how this was a valuable step for any of the parties. It seemed that the company just wanted to see everyone and appeared that it could be used in a discriminatory way.
I would be interested to hearing other's experiences with and opinions about group interviews.
At this point, I'm not sure I will accept any future interviews in this format.