Networking and Being a Good Citizen
As primary and election season at the city, county, state, and federal levels gets fully underway think about volunteering for a campaign. While campaigns typically only have a few paid positions, volunteer campaign staff are critical to candidates and are often rewarded with bonuses or permanent work if the candidate gets elected into office.
Here are a few reasons to consider supporting a local campaign, even if the idea of politics is not something of immediate interest:
- On a campaign you can gain valuable skills – online marketing, correspondence, event planning, organization, volunteer management and press strategy
- Campaigns make for interesting resume conversation starters (definitely put all work on your resume as work experience regardless if it is unpaid)
- You will meet a huge and diverse cross-section of individuals on a campaign – from fellow volunteers, to donors, to the candidates themselves
- Network while you volunteer. Whether you are reaching out to local businesses, or talking about what drew you to volunteering, you have an opportunity to meet like-minded individuals and tell your story, your elevator pitch, and investigate opportunities that might be interesting and outside your comfort zone
- Make no mistake: some of the work can be monotonous. But the way to make an impression is in being reliable and hard-working
- Volunteers need to be managed and a reliable volunteer will themselves typically be tapped to help manage the organization
- I think it is important to get involved in your local community, but volunteering for a campaign is also really fun. It can be exciting to work at the grassroots level
Finding candidates you want to volunteer for will take some research. Start with local elected officials in the City Council, New York State Assembly, and New York State Senate. Then, of course, check to see if your federal representatives are up for election. Lastly, the presidential campaign is in full swing and New York State certainly has a lot of activity.
Angie Kamath, who overseesWorkforce1 as the Deputy Commissioner of Workforce Development at the NYC Department of Small Business Services, shares her perspective on Workforce1 and the New York City job market in her weekly Jobs in New York City column.
Have a response to Angie’s column? Drop her a note in the comment section below! And, if you found this helpful, please share it with friends and family on Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, and email!