When I became the webmaster for my chapter, I also became the chairman of the VIS Committee. VIS stands for Volunteer Information Specialist when in reference to the NSDAR (National Society of the Daughters of the American Revolution).
Logically, it makes sense. Working on codes and with computers makes me the ideal representative for our chapter when faced with computer technology questions and problems, templates and forms design, and/or social media marketing and online presence.
Outside of the DAR, I feel that all companies should have designated employees for this kind of work – and many companies do. Most companies have IS (Information Systems) or IT (Information Technology) specialists, not volunteers.
My experience has shown me that employees from my generation, the millennials – see my earlier post on Generations in the Work Force – are usually the ones who become volunteers for these jobs, rather than specialists.
Millennials are “tech savvy.” This makes us valuable to older employers because we are aware of different online platforms that could potentially bring their company more revenue. This can also make us valuable to younger employers because they recognize that it’s usually easier to hire someone else to do online work so that they themselves can focus on their company’s physical needs.
So where does that leave the millennials?
We become volunteer IS or IT employees, which basically means that we have no title to support the experience that we are gaining on the job. Saying that we created templates or forms doesn’t impress potential employers because that kind of work is “expected” due to the technological times that we grew up with and are constantly exposed to.
Every job that I have had involved wearing multiple hats. One of those hats is the technology hat. I love the technology hat, because I love working with technology, but it is soul-crushing when you attempt to be hired to do technology-related jobs within your company only to discover that you aren’t qualified because you don’t have enough technology experience… what?
You’re telling me that all of those side jobs which showed my value did nothing to improve my chances because they aren’t part of my job description?
And you wonder why millennials have a
high turn-over rate.
I applaud the NSDAR for creating a recognized committee for members who are “tech savvy” – regardless of which generation they came from. By being recognized as a VIS committee member, working with technology now serves a purpose and provides a solid foundation for both the member and the organization.
Well done, NSDAR. Well done.
This is why I think it is so important to do volunteering outside of your job if you’re trying to gain experience that you will be recognized for!
You find value in your tech knowledge, and potential employers will too – as soon as they see a title that they can associate with what you know.