In March 2020, most of us were suddenly thrust into the new world of communication--mostly via a screen. During those first months of the pandemic, we suddenly had to learn the ins and outs of numerous new online platforms. Like many of you, I witnessed up close issues with audio connections, those who couldn’t find the mute button, watching (and hearing) people chew their lunches, bad lighting (one memorable session had lights shining beams down making the host seem like they were behind bars in jail), backgrounds including messy beds and videos of kitchens on fire, and adorable and loud pets and children.
As we head into a new event season for FIRST programs we know that volunteering is going to look different this year. For example, many of the positions you know (judging, refereeing, queuing) will still be there, but the position descriptions, including onboarding requirements, will be adapted for the remote environment. And while things may not be the same, the good news is that with these changes also comes the opportunity to refine certain workplace skills (and don't forget these volunteer experiences can also be used as resume builders).
Some of these workplace skills, including “soft” skills used during volunteering for FIRST include:
- Presenting a professional appearance on a screen
- Collaborating using online tools such as Zoom and Microsoft Team Meetings
- Communicating, time management, problem-solving, and adaptability
- Learning new training platforms
We are excited to begin the new season and engage volunteers as we all learn together!
Volunteer Manager-Maryland and Metro DC