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Chapter 8. Volunteering and Professional... > Let Volunteer Activities Support Car...

Let Volunteer Activities Support Career Goals and Needs

By shifting your mindset to how you and the professional organization can profit from your volunteer participation, the experience becomes more meaningful to all parties. Think of volunteering as a career development activity and, thus, as good career management. Approaching volunteerism in that way can be very beneficial to people in the midst of transitioning into the field. Staffing the registration table at an association meeting, for example, is a good way to network. By volunteering you quickly learn more about where you might fit into the profession and about what facets of your prior professional background are transferable. It’s also a way to fill in some of the professional gaps.

Remember when you did an internship or field service project as part of your graduate or undergraduate studies? Those experiences were usually linked to your major/professional specialty, with learning and performance objectives developed and integrated into the experience. That was experience-based learning—you acquired knowledge and skills by doing. Before beginning a fieldwork experience you did extensive preparation and research relating to the outcomes you wanted from the effort. A similar outcomes-focused approach can be taken to volunteering:


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