Photo by Daveblog https://www.flickr.com/photos/daveblog/2050611763/
Everyone who gives their time or money does so in exchange for something they value. So it’s great that Catchafire, plus a little research, are likely to put you in a volunteer gig that benefits you and an organization or cause that you support. Read on for my glowing review of the volunteer experience.
Four websites that help you find that perfect option for online volunteering, and my quick take on their relative strengths.
1. Start with short-term projects
For long distance volunteering, look for clearly-defined projects with “deliverables” and deadlines. Avoid roles with lists of duties and open-ended timelines. Committing to a long-term volunteer position with an organization you’ve never worked with before is kind of like going on a cross-country road trip with a person you have only met on the internet. Maybe you won’t hate it? Maybe you won’t want to bail in the middle of the trip and feel like you wasted your time?
Who are you interested in talking to?
The point of blogging and being involved in social media is conversation, not one way communication.
Joining in the conversations happening on social media and writing online content gives you access to new groups of people, and the opportunity to spend time learning about their ideas and language.
And here is the totally simple key: go to the place online where those people are already having a conversation and join in. Or even just listen. It’s simple, and it’s more effective than reinventing the wheel by trying to bring people to your personal website and make the conversation revolve around you.
A roundup of expert tips for connecting to people with online tools!
These resources lean toward American style networking, so I’d love to hear your thoughts on whether the advice here is specific to American culture or broadly relevant.
I highly recommend giving a listen to her interview with Grace Bonney of Design Sponge if you’ve moved Internationally or are planning to do so in the future.
“It’s going to take some time.” This is the last thing you want to hear when you are in a new place looking to make friends or find professional opportunities.
You want friends now. You want job opportunities now.
I was racking my brain to figure out who this new best friend was.
A person that I didn’t recognize surprised me by coming up to me smiling, using my first name, touching my arm, being very enthusiastic. She talked to me like we were close, even though our only connection was some mutual friends.