by Jon White
ProductCamp Seattle is coming and we need your help. ProductCamps all over the world are run by volunteers, like you. And it is an incredibly rewarding experience. This will be my 3rd, and I want to share what I get out of it, and why I come back every year.
1) It is a lot of fun.
From the planning to the parties, up to the event itself, you will enjoy the experience. You donate as much time as you feel comfortable with, and it will be a blast. It is the reason we have so many volunteers return to help out, or graduate to PMC Board Members.
2) Learn new skills ‘on the job’.
The first year I volunteered, the team encouraged me to take on responsibility for something I had never done before – to get outside of my comfort zone. So I volunteered to be on the marketing team and work on sending the emails. I was a complete n00b, but by the end of it I authentically could add ’email marketing’ to my resume. And this was on-the-job training.
What do you want to learn? Event planning? Budget and forecasting? Want to run our social accounts? Web design? Content Marketing? We are a flat team, mistakes are forgiven and there is more than enough work to go around.
3) You will meet a ton of people.
Whether you consider yourself a networker or not, you will meet a lot of people. In my first year volunteering I estimate that I grew my LinkedIn network by about 50. And I am not a natural networker. You just can’t help it. You will grow a new group of friends from the volunteer team (in fact that is how I got referred for my current job). I got involved the first year because I had recently switched roles from engineering to product – my network was very tech focused and I needed to grow it. Are you starting a career in Product Management? New to the area? Looking for a new job? I don’t think there is a better way to meet people in the community.
4) Resume Builder
Everyone who volunteers should add it to their resume and gain a recommendation or 2 from their experience. In my last round of interviews for product roles, this came up EVERY time. And you will be surprised how many PCS alumni you will meet on your travels.
5) It is extremely, extremely, rewarding
It is hard to express this one in words, but I always leave the events with an incredible sense of achievement – there is something about 200+ people choosing to spend their Saturday at an event you have created.
OK. So what is the commitment?
You give as much time as you feel comfortable with. And we know life is unpredictable, so you can drop out at any time – no hard feelings. (We promise). All we ask is 3 things:
- you can commit to helping out all day on the day of the event (October 26th – a Saturday). But you are going to be there anyway though, right? 🙂
- you be available one evening a week for an hour(ish) for the weekly call. Ideally in-person, but conference call works as well. You can take a few actions and complete them before the next call.
- If you take on a task you can no longer complete, or have to drop out, let someone know sooner rather than later – we promise no-one will be mad.
You will get out what you put in though, I estimate my average commitment for the last 3 years has been 4-5 hours a week for the 6 weeks running up to the event (including meetings). And for me most of this time has been ‘fun’ tasks, so make sure you get involved in something you want to learn about, or are passionate in.
Still here? You must be interested!
Email email@example.com and one of us will reach out and answer any questions you may have. We look forward to meeting you!