Just because you’re not getting paid, it doesn’t mean you shouldn’t be professional. If you work hard then the chances of making a good impression will increase. And if you make a good impression, then the odds of being called back or maybe even getting a job offer will get.
If they ask, tell them why you’re interested in volunteering. We already mentioned the experience, but your intentions might be different. There are many different reasons to volunteer, a giveaway, the chance to meet someone important, or just because it’s fun. They’re all valid reasons. If you’re honest with your intentions then the organisers will know what’s the best job for you.
It is easy to visualise what we want before we get into something, but once the running around starts, it’s easy to forget why we wanted it in the first place. In order to avoid burning out or worse, feeling like you’ve lost your time, keep in mind at all times what it is you want to get out of this experience.
You’re a volunteer, not a slave
Remember that even if you don’t have a salary, you still have rights. This is important to understand because many a times organisers take advantage of unpaid positions and make them handle things they shouldn’t have to. If you feel like you’re not being treated fairly, then it is completely okay to “quit”.
Look for feedback
If you’re working for a serious organisation then chances are you’ll receive feedback at the end of the project, but if you don’t, you have the right to ask for it. If you want to learn and take your first steps in the world of event planning, it is crucial to understand what you’re good at and what what you’re not and one of the fastest ways to do this, is through feedback. Also, if you’re not getting paid, experience is the next best thing you can get.
Keep in touch with the people you worked with during your volunteering experience. There are two kinds of people we advice you to build relationships with:
The event organisers
Send them a thank you email after the event is done. The message should be short and sweet while highlighting a couple of things. First, tell them how much you enjoyed (if you did) the overall experience and second, let them know you’re available for future endeavours. It might seem meaningless, but you’d be surprised by how rarely people write just to say “thank you”. They’ve probably already added you to their database, but a grateful email might place you at the top of that drawer.
Your fellow volunteers
Exchange phone numbers, emails and social media. This is actually a good way to find out of future volunteering opportunities because if they volunteered once then chances are they’ll do it again. And who knows, you might also make a friend or two.