Volunteering for experience

While reading Think Big, Act Small by Jason Jennings, the book talks about companies that stand more something. Like HP refusing to layoff employees during hard times and actually hiring instead. Like the companies outlined by Jennings, giving and acting on a small level can take you far.

Especially for marketers, taking small steps of self improvement and skill building can make a difference in how sharp skills remain. During the giving season, think about new habits you can create in order to give back.

Your contribution doesn’t have to be a few dollars in the bucket. It can be small acts of giving towards those around you. I recently wrote about giving thanks, whether by email or card, and different ways to show thanks as a way to give back to your coworkers. You can also volunteer your time and skills for people that need it.

Volunteering can be consistent or more infrequent based on your schedule and I had the opportunity to do both recently.


My most recent volunteer activity was spending time at the Houston Social Media Breakfast. The organization brought in 10 different charities and all attendees divided themselves among them. My group was Kinetic, a conductorless ensemble trying to inspire musical vibrancy in Houston.

At our table, we brainstormed a strategy for Kinetic to continue developing meaningful content, branch their different channels for a more cohesive strategy and new ways for them to reach people. Since they offer a different take on orchestra music, we suggested partnering with local groups or advertising on Pandora.

I really enjoyed the opportunity to brainstorm with other people in the marketing field, meeting new people and helping give back at the same time. Within 2 hours, we had helped the Kinetic team with their social media presence and had a great time doing it!

If you want to give back more frequently, see about joining a local organization that needs marketing help. Especially new marketers, or those without proven results, can get some extra practice in an area they may not get a chance to work in.

American Marketing Association

I recently started volunteering for the American Marketing Association with their social media. I have started off in the luncheon committee but will also be helping out with special events. While I have done some social media in the past, writing LinkedIn and Facebook posts for this established group will give me an opportunity to showcase more recent skills.

How will you get involved?

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