Volunteers

Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.

~Sherry Anderson.

200395417-001

I remembered the first ever voluntary work that I have done.  Well, it wasn’t really a (voluntary) choice per say… since I just really needed some credits to help me out for College.  It was doing work as a camp counselor in a young adult camp in my town.

It’s a fantasy for many  of the Candidates: the idea of delegating tasks and actually having someone else do the work. Especially when there’s often no reprieve from the stream of tasks.

How do properly execute with this strategy

Make a list of the projects you’ll need help with.  Before you even start thinking about taking on an intern, make a comprehensive list of the projects you’ll need help with. That will enable you to determine what skills you need to look for in a hire (or a volunteer).

Determine what sort of help you need.

Lets look at a few statistics.

vol
source: Bureau of Labor Statistics

 

Make the value proposition clear upfront.

Particularly if your intern is volunteering their services, you need to understand what they’re hoping to get out of the experience. The more they appreciate what they do, the more value they put in towards their work.

If they want to learn about media relations but you need someone to focus on writing online product reviews, they’ll quickly become unhappy — and may cause you more headaches if they quit without notice.

Take the time to ensure you’re finding someone whose goals match your needs, so the arrangement is a win-win.

Provide detailed instructions.

The more specific you can be with the assignments you give, the better the result will be.

Set regular check-ins and provide feedback.

The biggest challenge when managing an intern is ensuring that you make time to review their work regularly and provide feedback to them.

Try to set regular check-ins — at least weekly, but sometimes even more frequent, depending on the tasks and how much time they’re putting in. In the beginning, that will undoubtedly create more work for you, so you have to budget the time in order to reap the benefits later.

If you don’t manage them properly, interns can become a time-suck that makes more work for you. Instead, plan in advance, scope out their tasks, and make time in your schedule for supervision.

If you do it right, you’ll soon be able to accomplish far more because you have the power of two people working to advance your goals.