A resume that shows the ability to lead, collaborate, and network is a strong resume. However, your current position or location may not allow for the types of team experiences that enable you to stretch your leadership, collaboration, and networking muscles. One way to gain those skills at your current employer is to join a workplace committee.
Most companies have committees that are dedicated to such causes as diversity and inclusion, productivity (think Lean or Six Sigma), quality, and morale boosting. Joining is often as easy as volunteering. Even if the goals of a workplace committee appear to be purely social, you may gain from making connections, demonstrating your ability to get along with others, and showing creative thinking. Moreover, social events require organizing, communication, and other skills that easily transfer into workplace situations.
When volunteering for a workplace committee, make sure:
- You have the time, energy, and interest to contribute. Interest may grow as you become more involved—but time and energy are limited. If you are already courting overwork or burnout, committee work may send you over the edge.
- You are appreciated for more than your housekeeping skills. Women in particular may find themselves delegated to fetched coffee, running the copier, and so on. Sharing in those duties is fine, but not if they block you from opportunities to lead and generate ideas.
- Your goals are compatible with the committee’s goals. You want a committee that will add to your resume, giving you skills and opportunities lacking in your day-to-day work. However, you also want to feel fulfilled and excited about the committee itself—or your ability to contribute will suffer.
- You are prepared for politics. Sometimes higher management wants a committee to come to a predetermined solutions; sometimes an individual or group on the committee hijacks the decision making; and sometimes creativity or the minority viewpoint are stifled by the need for consensus. Learning how to deal with the politics will make you a stronger employee; however, the process can be stressful and frustrating.
Robin’s Resumes® will make sure that your experience and contribution to workplace committees strengthens your resume and makes future employers take notice.