Get out there and get involved!
I could hear the hammers before I turned the corner. Midday on one of the hottest days during a very hot Canton, OH, summer; and the Interfaith Habitat workers peeped out from their work stations. They knew I brought lunch!
Trinity United Church of Christ built two Habitat for Humanity houses this summer. I wanted to help but I am a documented klutz. No one wanted me to swing a hammer. But I can cook! This was a perfect opportunity for The Interview Doctor to contribute to a wonderful cause!
I laid out BBQ Chicken Pot Pie with homemade cornbread lattice crust, crunchy vegetable cherry coleslaw with a vinaigrette dressing (wouldn’t want to poison the fine volunteers with a mayonnaise dressing on a hot day!), a vegetarian corn, bean and tomato salad and little tiny fruit pies individually wrapped in wax paper. Kosher, halal and vegetarian for the interfaith crowd. I even brought cold ice tea! The crowd ate it up as they rested for a bit in the shade before returning to work.
Volunteering is a wonderful way to contribute to a better world. Here at The Interview Doctor, we volunteer all the time without tooting our own horns. I speak at many job seekers clubs for no fee in an effort to guide more people to new jobs.
I offer scholarships for job search coaching. Sometimes a confused job seeker reaches out to me with a networking question and I realize this person will never become a client but with a few minutes of coaching on the house, could turn the corner on their job search.
These small contributions by The Interview Doctor add up to big changes in some people’s lives.
Volunteering is also a strategic way to grow a business or manage a job search.
Start-up businesses these days often make a contribution to some charity as a way to market themselves or differentiate themselves from other businesses. Many companies like Toms, Salesforce, Tesla, Deloitte, Novo Nordisk and Connors use volunteering as a way to attract millennial workers who value social action.
A recent article describes how Giving Back to the Community is Good for Business. There are technical benefits like a charitable deduction for the food I purchased for Habitat for Humanity, but more important, volunteering in your community can be a great way to promote your business and get your name out.
I sometimes feel uncomfortable publicizing my community involvement. I could have (but didn’t) passed out business cards for The Interview Doctor or had a big sign saying, “Food Provided by The Interview Doctor, Inc.” (but I didn’t). I could have sent out pictures on Facebook, but I didn’t do that either. I guess I am doing it now though, by just talking about my community involvement.
Job seekers and entrepreneurs can volunteer to receive positive exposure and make valuable new connections while giving back to the community. A client, Agnes, is giving a keynote address at a national conference this winter. She is not charging a fee but is receiving excellent exposure and making valuable contacts. Another client, Marvin, made valuable job search connections volunteering at a local historical society.
Consider how you can publicize your community contributions through social media to raise visibility and improve your image while doing something good for your community!