First, let's explore the networks you already have. If you're in college, there might be a club or group that helps you gain experience in your chosen field. Volunteering in your area of interest is also a fantastic way to get involved, make a name for yourself, and connect with others in the community. This can help you expand your network and meet people who might want to support you in reaching your dream job.
Next, consider reaching out to people on LinkedIn or searching for mentorship programs in your desired field. You can send messages to people on LinkedIn and arrange a casual chat over coffee to learn about their job and the industry. Let them know you're hoping to enter the field and ask if they have any advice or can introduce you to someone who could guide you on your journey. Mentorship programs are another great option, although some might have a fee. But if it helps you achieve your future goals, it's definitely worth considering!
Your communication abilities and personal traits should also be taken into account. Keep in mind that this is volunteer work, and you'll be doing it out of your genuine desire to help the community without expecting any payment. However, some organizations may offer long-term employment opportunities, and many volunteers have been hired due to their positive work attitude and valuable contributions to the company. Just give it your all, and everything else will fall into place. Best of luck!
You may be able to see if you can shadow someone who works in the career field that you would like to pursue. You can also research volunteer opportunities to work in the specific capacity of your interest, with a team, committee, or board in a non-profit organization.
For example, when pursuing my interest to do grant writing for non-profit organizations, I researched volunteer opportunities to serve on boards and committees for non-profit organizations within my community. When I found an organization of interest, I reached out to inform them of my desire to contribute to advancing their opportunity for funding. In addition, I also showed interest in identifying what the organization's needs were to see how else I could be of assistance. This piqued their (the non-profit board members') interest in me because they were able to see my genuine concern for contributing to advancing their organization. I demonstrated this by proactively recruiting neighboring volunteers and engaged in fundraising planning and development. I also made community connections between them and other like-minded non-profit orgs.
As it turned out, not only was I able to work with the executive director of this particular non-profit organization writing grants, but I was also extended an opportunity to join the board where I transitioned from being a board member, to vice-chair to my current role as board chair.
Volunteering for non-profits organizations is the gift that keeps on giving, because you are able to build resume worthy skill sets but also advancing existing skills while working for a worthy cause.
Suggestion: Consider joining Catchafire at: https://www.catchafire.org/. This platform provides opportunities to volunteer for organizations virtually. All you have to do is complete the profile and you'll receive notifications when opportunities are available!
I hope this helps and I wish you much success in your endeavors. May the rest of your day be the best of your day!
Shannon "Shan'' Holliday
Since you're also interested in life and career coaching, you might discover a non-profit that offers career guidance to individuals with low incomes seeking jobs. Many non-profits focus on empowerment, making them excellent platforms for self-discovery and growth as you try out diverse roles and develop your strengths. At the same time, you'll learn about the practical side of life coaching and the core industry of your volunteer program.
Volunteering is beneficial for several reasons, including the valuable experience you gain and the assistance you provide through your service. Many non-profits receive support and staff from companies that share their mission, making volunteering an excellent opportunity to leave a positive impression in an unexpected setting. Even if you don't secure a job within the non-profit, you've opened the door to numerous other possibilities just beyond the horizon.
Begin by actively participating in college activities, projects, or anything related to these areas. Don't hesitate to seek guidance from your teachers as well. This will help you gain a solid foundation. Engage in conversations with others by asking questions and preparing yourself. With determination, you'll definitely succeed.
Wishing you the best!