Events are a common occurrence in the world of public relations. Therefore, volunteer opportunities will consistently emerge for both students and established professionals. Although there may not be a foreseeable long term benefit to volunteering at an event, you never know who might be there or what opportunities may pop up.
Many view volunteering as a one way street. In other words, people tend to view volunteer work as something they are doing for someone else, and the only return is the pride that they did some good without anything to gain. However, a single day of volunteering can actually have a lasting and tangible impact on your career. Therefore, when a request for volunteers passes through your email chain, take the opportunity. Volunteering at an event shows an organization—and everyone attending—that you are willing to go the extra mile, even when you are not getting paid for it.
Consistently taking the opportunity to volunteer is especially vital if you are a student. Volunteering provides the chance to network while showing the skills and work ethic that you possess. It may not seem like much, but meeting an established PR professional or connecting with an organization while you are volunteering allows you to stand out even more than at a networking event. Networking events are important, but volunteering opens the door to meet other professionals more organically, while simultaneously displaying what you have to offer.
So the next time someone reaches out looking for volunteers, take the leap and do it. It may seem like nothing will come out of it, but do it anyway. You could end up making an impression that can change your entire career.
This guest blog post was written by PRowl staff member Jason Conway.