Today, our friends give us their takes on doing good.
Millie: Hello, my friend! I really want your advice today, so let’s jump right in.
Boo: Yeah, for sure. What’s on your mind?
Millie: Welp, I’m trying to figure out how to spend my volunteering time. You know it’s important to me, but I need to make sure I’m doing the most impactful things and keeping an eye on my own goals too. And my crazy schedule.
Boo: Huge topic. We should definitely not wait till we get to the bottom of the coffee cups. Alright, the first question I have for you is what you hope to get out of volunteering.
Millie: Well, I definitely want to work on causes that mean something to me. Life can get weird when you’re chasing clicks all day, so you know I want some purpose.
Boo: Good, go on….
Millie: I also really love meeting new people and I find that in a volunteer setting it’s so much more authentic and less stressful than work or the general social scene. People automatically share my interests. I don’t have to tell you how I feel about dog lovers. Extra credit!
Boo: Ha, no, you do not have to tell me about that. Ok, so you want to do things you’re passionate about, and you want to meet good people. Check and check. Anything else?
Millie: Well, yeah, this is the part I want your advice on. Do you think I can actually acquire any skills by volunteering that might help me in my career? I definitely notice that nonprofits will let me try things, like designing a website or heading up a team, even if I’m not formally trained or quite at that point in my paid work. And it’s been great, and I’ve learned, but…
Boo: But what?
Millie: Can I legitimately put stuff like that on my resume? Do any of those skills translate into the paid workforce?
Boo: Of course you can put them on your resume. That’s the easy part. Why would you not talk about something interesting and impressive that you accomplished?
Millie: Sure, ok, but will it get any respect from HR people or anyone else reading my resume?
Boo: I think so. I really do. Maybe ten or twenty years ago that would have been less true, but I’ve definitely seen a new appreciation for a more diverse array of experience. I have friends working in jobs that relate directly to skills they gained as volunteers. I think the main thing, really, is if you’re trying to get a new job or a promotion, you have to describe your experience strategically.
Millie: Well that sounds fancy. What do you mean?
Boo: One of my friends is an executive recruiter. She told me that when you spruce up your resume or do an interview, you have to work hard to make people understand what you are capable of and why your skills and experience match what they are looking for. So, it isn’t about where you got the skills and experience, it’s how you present them and how they fit. Does that make sense?
Millie: Yes, it really does. So, do you want to work with me at the Animal Shelter next weekend? I’ve agreed to lead a team!
Boo: Work with you, huh?
At Amava, we believe that age does not define us. We favor actual interactions and honest relationships over clichés like the one about Millennials and Baby Boomers being at odds, at cultural loggerheads or at war. The Millennial and Boomer (get it?) are two friends having conversations about things that matter—work, social issues, money, relationships, travel and more. They were nice enough to write some of it down for us so you can be entertained and perhaps enlightened by their sharing and comparing. We hope it inspires you to start conversations of your own.