Raise your hand if you have volunteered time for your child’s school PTA, your local library, hospital, the charity of choice. Now raise your hand if you’ve doubted that your volunteer experience means much of anything in the “real world.” Now raise your hand if there’s also some part of you that is ready to get paid. Even if you only raised your hand once, the world is waiting for you.
This is the profile of so many of the amazing women we work with. While attending a back to work conference last month I got some intel on LinkedIn – now the tool that 80% of recruiters and hiring managers use to find talent. A recent meta-study of LinkedIn data showed that 41% of all recruiters consider volunteer work experience equal to professional experience.
Now, understanding that you may not want to: a) dust off those office pumps and b) go the straight and narrow path back to accounting, what this statistic tells me is that for all of those women who thought they were invisible, you’re not only visible but competitive. Mostly, it’s just a matter of taking your experience and using language that the hiring manager can hear. So, “ran annual elementary school fundraiser” turns into “managed team of six committee leads and 30 volunteers to exceed annual fundraising goal of $500,000 by 15%. (Oh, and that you’re going to solve problems and be easy to work with.)
For those of you who aspire to be your own boss, executive skills – all of which you’ve been using every day while running your family – are transferable to just about any small business. So there you have it. The opportunities are there for the taking. Game on.
Founder & CEO, The Summit