I thought it was a great idea to volunteer at my son’s tuck shop. I thought it would be a good duty to help out, put my name down and get involved. Before the first day of school, the tuck shop roster arrived to my inbox, I was put on for the first Tuesday of the month. Easy! I could get it done and dusted at the start of the year, I thought, but, after reading it a second time, it said ‘EVERY second Tuesday of the month!’ Yikes!
Initially, I wanted to think of a way to get out of it but you know what? I just have to pop it in my diary and block out that time slot for EVERY. SECOND. TUESDAY. FOR. THE. WHOLE YEAR.
When it came to the day that I was on duty, I actually loved it! It was a bit of fun, I learned a few new things and then I had a surprise when Aston’s teacher sent him to come say hello to me and collect the lunch basket for this class. Awww it was so cute!
I had a conversation with my aunty Helen about this and she told me all about her experience as a school/kinder rep/volunteer and I told her to share her story with you because she has some good advice on….
Why you should join the kindergarten committee / school board / parent association at your child’s school.
So I was freaking out. My first born was starting kindergarten. Where did the years go? And that’s when it hit me that it had been 5 years since I left the work force. I was once a force to be reckoned with those days-before I became a “mumma” I was “employee extraordinaire”. I worked long hours. I climbed the office ladder. I did personal development courses and could talk the talk and walk the walk. Then, by choice, I became pregnant with grand plans of returning to work within 9 months after baby was born. But as it turned out, I didn’t go back. I did not want to. I resigned. I loved being a stay at home mum. I was a changed woman. I was now mumma extraordinaire.
So, fast forward 5 years and my baby was heading off to his first day at kindergarten and I found myself reminiscing about my hey-day at work. And I also start thinking about going back soon, like in a couple more years. I had been out of the work force for 5 years and it would probably be a total of 7 years by the time I found the perfect job. How does that look on my resume? I had always been conscious about gaps in my working career. Three months off to travel seemed an acceptable gap. But how does 7 years off to parent sound to my beloved building industry which during my tenure was very male heavy. And so my decision to focus on a career change came and looking for a mummy friendly job was my priority.
What could I do? And just like that, I had a brain wave. I became a volunteer committee member at my child’s kindergarten to build my skills. Really. So, here’s what I think you need to know about volunteering at your child’s kindergarten or school and how doing so builds your skills and experience and looks fantastic on your resume.
1. Being a volunteer means you don’t really need experience in the field. But you will gain that experience. Bingo!
I started off as the Kindergarten’s Secretary. I had never taken shorthand in my life but soon realised I didn’t need to. I just needed to know how to listen, write, type and send emails.
2. You’ll learn new skills which you can add to your already amazing resume
I learned how to take minutes and write an agenda, accounts payable, accounts receivable, payroll, how to use MYOB and Xero, and the list goes on.
3. It’s not what you know it’s who you know.
You will get to know the kinder teachers, directors, principals etc and they will make great referees when you need it.
4. There is no pressure and you can work from home.
And because of this I wanted to do a great job. I felt like a mummy – gun who looked and felt important because I wasn’t under too much pressure. I was once a gun in the workforce and so this was small time (*insert still sometimes freaking out here).
5. Volunteering at your child’s kinder and/school doesn’t mean you are a helicopter parent but it is good for your child.
Yes, you do get to pop into the kinder / school more often than other parents, but you don’t need to hover over how your child is fairing day to day.
However, your kids will love seeing you and it builds their confidence. I never ever went up to my child during his learning time but a little wave if he caught my eye was fine and then a swift turn to business.
On a side note to this, I am a result of parents who volunteered at clubs and my school. Dad organised wine and cheese nights, mum did canteen and class help. They loved it and I loved that they did it. The apple didn’t fall far from the tree.
6. It works.
My resume looks amazing. I was no longer worried about a 7 year gap. I was a hard working mumma who found a way to build skills for a future back in the workforce and once again felt like a force to be reckoned with……
By Helen Ceravolo for WWKD visit her INSTAGRAM HERE