By Molly Lopez, CAE, President/Owner
I attended a great Iowa State, U of I, UNI alumni networking luncheon this week. (Go Cyclones! Sorry, I had to say it.) I met some interesting people and the educational topic revolved around the importance of volunteering and mentoring.
It was good to attend this networking event as a volunteer and also as an owner of a firm that manages volunteers.
Take-Aways as an Employer: 73% of employers would employ a candidate with volunteer experience over one without (I agree!), and 94% of employees who volunteered to learn new skills benefited by improving their chances of being promoted (Interesting!).
• Reasons to volunteer (make a difference, build professional/personal contacts, meet new people, better your community or profession, develop new job skills, do something as a family or team, put your passion to a purpose);
• Selecting volunteer opportunities (research organization, consider how you can benefit, think about your talents to contribute, know time commitment and commit);
• Mentoring (Mentor Benefits: exposure to new skills/technology/resources, a challenge, self-worth, fosters positive change, a way to give back, create a legacy, and Mentee Benefits: enhances career plans, increases networking/references, gain support, insider perspective, exposure to diverse experiences, fosters positive change).
Mentoring is ageless: everyone needs counsel, advice, role models and/or tough love.