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Developing Your Job Skills: Interning and Volunteering

March 5, 2010

If  you are into Social Media at all one of the leading guru’s and authors on  the industry Chris Brogan posted that he was looking for an intern. In the initial post he said it was mostly a research position for a project who’s budget was a little thin. Well it started a firestorm of conversation.

First 94 people, me included saw value in offering up our skills for the chance to work for Chris. Even though we would not be getting paid for this grunt work I saw it as a chance to learn, grow, develop and must importantly for me : network. Sometimes to get ahead you offer up a freebie.

For me I have always seen value in both volunteering and interning. Lets define both. I will let you know I see them as very similar and a great way to develop job skills and as one who is looking to change careers they are a neccesity.

When you are an intern the emphasis is one picking up job skills and learning.

A volunteer is anyone who gives up time and talent for a project.

Can you see why I think both are so similar?

I have done both.

As an intern I researched, designed and then implemented a new program for a non profit in Hamilton. I gained job skills and came up with a program that continues to help the homeless gain ID.

As a volunteer mom I organized an email program that helped my daughter’s school win a contest for funding. With that funding not only my daughter’s school but a poorer school got much needed new library books. As well while volunteering at the school library I created a parental lending library to encourage parents to be more involved in their child’s education.

These are just two examples of the work I have done for others without seeking compensation. Sometimes it is not about getting money. There is often hidden value.

For me I see value in developing my job skills and giving a freebie, do you?  For me it is not always the transfer of cash that has the greatest value.

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One Comment leave one →
  1. Mike permalink
    March 8, 2010 11:50 pm

    Great blog post.. you responded to me on Chris’s blog. It was one of those think out loud moments for me, and now that I read your post I admittedly feel somewhat stupid. I still would love to hear how Chris does the development side and I hope there is something rather ground breaking. Kicking myself now for not signing up when I could have been the 1st one.

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