Sunday, January 25, 2009

Be Selfish. Volunteer.

I just wrapped up one of my favorite weekends of the year – ADDY judging weekend.

As judging chair, I was responsible for putting together our panel of judges. After a few months of searching and calling, we landed some of the top talent from around the nation.

This past weekend, they came to Kansas City for two days to judge 1,200 or so pieces.

In order to make judging weekend happen, we needed volunteers. About 25 or so.

Our volunteers included creative directors, art directors, writers, photographers, account managers and, yes, students. And they all worked together to make judging run smoothly. 

What a great chance to get to know people in the industry (and for them to know you). How often do you get the chance to work on an equal level with a creative director? Or a well-connected writer? Or even a potential co-worker? (Remember, the best way to get in the door is through a current employee.)

Want to get hired? Be known. Want to be known? Get involved as an industry volunteer. 

I know many volunteers who landed jobs based on connections made through organizations like Ad Club.

You just have to be selfish – by volunteering.

(And who knows? You may even get the chance to meet people whose work you admire. I did.)

1 comment:

sleeptalkr said...

Completely, adamantly, head-noddingly agree, Kevin. Volunteering has created more connections for me than Twitter, Facebook or LinkedIn – possibly even combined.

I'd like to add a note to organizations: When volunteers sign up, take advantage of them! I joined a local ad club and checked the volunteer box, but have heard nothing. No worries: I'll find a group with which to "be selfish."