Blog Contributor: Erin Funk, Marketing Committee Member
After graduating and securing a full time position, most young professionals settle into a comfortable schedule around their new 40-hour workweek. During their down time, young professionals may attend networking events or attend a professional development event but serving on a nonprofit board can provide a well-rounded, educational experience that looks great on a resume.
As the only for-profit board member for three years, I have been privileged to sit on the YNPN St. Louis board and learn from my amazing peers. The board has supplied me with endless connections and learning experiences.
A volunteer board position offers a new perspective to young professionals still exploring their career options. Each organization can provide varying opportunities and time commitments, making it easy to find a cause that fits your interest and schedule.
Volunteer board positions provide an opportunity to:
- Diversify your resume – Young professionals often change jobs after only a couple years. With nonprofit board experience, your skills can stand out among the others. A recent LinkedIn survey found that 41% of hiring managers consider volunteer experience equally valuable as paid work.
- Expand your network – Finding connections, mentors and professionals doesn’t happen overnight. By volunteering on a board you have access to other board members, organizational members and employees of the organizations. Board positions provide all this without the cost of conferences, seminars or courses.
- Strengthen or expand your skills – Whether you are looking to develop your current skill set or looking to expand your knowledge into new areas, board positions offer a variety of possibilities. Providing your for-profit experience and ideas on local topics and issues strengthens your teamwork skills and gives the board another perspective to consider.
- Give back to the community - Volunteering your time is always a great way to give back to the community and feel better about how you are spending your time. No matter which nonprofit organization or cause you choose, the community will benefit from your service on the board.
- Challenge Yourself – As a young professional it is important to stay inspired, eager to learn and motivated. Challenging yourself with a new and unknown opportunity like a board position can ignite your passion for your for-profit job.
Consider spending your spare time building your resume and helping the community; it truly is a win-win for everyone involved. Read more about the current YNPN St. Louis board application here.