Do Some Volunteer Work
Allan Hoffman / Monster Tech Jobs Expert
December 09, 2008
Techies in some fields will have an easier time than others looking for volunteer opportunities. Anyone with an A+ certification, for instance, is likely to find organizations, such as Berkeley Neighborhood Computers, devoted to rebuilding donated PCs. Web designers and developers are also likely to find groups looking for free assistance with their sites. Those looking to gain networking experience may have more of a challenge, as organizations may want an experienced techie for the job. Even if you’re not able to set up a network on your own, consider opportunities that would allow you to assist in the task.
Of course, if you’re planning to volunteer, you should also have a genuine desire to help the organization rather than just gain quick experience and split once you’ve got a full-time job. Experienced IT pros often find a distinct type of reward in their nonprofit work. “If you set up a network for a nonprofit, you can immediately see it’s made a huge improvement,” notes Heberger. “That’s one of the reasons why they volunteer; the impact is visible.”
Where to Volunteer
Techies looking for volunteer opportunities should consider these resources:
- Volunteer Matching Organizations: These groups match volunteers with opportunities. Some, like TechSoup in San Francisco or Voluntech.org in New York City, specialize in connecting techies with volunteer assignments. For a listing of volunteer matching services, see the list at TechSoup.org.
- Community Volunteer Centers: Many communities have volunteer centers or point people to coordinate opportunities. Call the city or town hall or the Chamber of Commerce to find the appropriate contact.
- Do-It-Yourself Volunteering: You may want to create your own volunteer assignment. If you’re associated with a particular organization, suggest a tech-related project you can handle.
This story is part of our guide to “”/benefits/articles/3586-5-easy-ways-to-start-an-it-career">5 Easy Ways to Start an IT Career." Check the others out here.