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Skilled Volunteerism

Pat Ross

Deputy Director of Membership Pat Ross III grew up in Connecticut and graduated from The Ohio State University with a degree in Political Science and the answers to all the world’s problems. For six years he supported Marine Infantry Battalions and advised foreign military forces. After finishing his time with the Corps, he completed a Masters of Business Administration at The Ohio State University.

“Tell me about a time you solved a complex problem without the proper resources,” asks almost every interviewer. We usually default to stories about our badassery in combat detailing how while running through a lava-filled coliseum with unsharpened swords, we slayed an evil, fire-breathing dragon. The potential employer conducting the interview thinks to herself, “Well, that escalated quickly.”

Retelling combat experiences during an interview is a gamble. We have done some cool shit overseas, but we are doing cool shit in our communities right now. For the potential employer, it is much easier to relate to these achievements because it is recent, tangible, and local.

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“Why you should we hire you?”

“I am with Team Rubicon and I accelerate responses to local disasters by working with a geographically dispersed planning cell to identify objectives, organize personnel, and prioritize work orders here in our community.” This highlights how we are active contributors in our communities and will be leaders within the company.

When we display civic virtue through action, we prove we are more than just veterans who’ve served; we are community members who are serving.

We join Team Rubicon for different reasons although most are related to living a life of purpose, sacrificing nights, weekends, and vacation days to bring relief to strangers in need. While this is a selfless act, especially for the regional and state leaders who stick to a rigidly hard administrative routine to support the team, we should also take advantage of the opportunities it creates for us. We find ourselves in unique situations whenever a disaster strikes. We voluntarily assume individual and monumental tasks that directly aid the community. We act decisively and we always walk away from an experience learning something about ourselves or honing a new skill. We are an action-oriented volunteer team that loves learning.

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Volunteerism holds weight.

We may not look as good as we did when we were strutting our stuff in uniform, but we look snazzy when we wear that TR “X.” What Team Rubicon represents on a resume is equally as appealing, especially to employers who are searching for dependable talent. According to Deloitte’s 2013 Volunteer Impact Survey, more than three out of every four human resources executives takes a job applicant’s volunteer experience into account when making a hiring decisions and believes it makes him or her a more desirable candidate.

We build credibility on our resumes by our actions with Team Rubicon and in our community. We reinforce our credibility when we demonstrate we are so passionate about developing careers in our industries that we volunteer with Team Rubicon to hone our skills as a practitioners.

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Our network is strong.

Team Rubicon has a powerful network. It is far-reaching and carries influence in diverse industries. “Non-profits have long offered a golden opportunity to network and learn new skills in different areas, something that, in turn, will make you more valuable back in the office.”

The recent chainsaw train-the-trainer course is a perfect example of our networking depth. We had 18 members from 16 states, working in 11 different industries converge and immediately forge friendships. This is one of our most obvious attributes and distinguishes us from other organizations. We make friends and network like professional hustlers, which can be quickly observed at any of our happy hours, service projects, or field operations.

As we grow by 300 members a week, the potential to expand our network multiplies. This is more than just clicks and connections – these are priceless encounters that shape us for how we clean up for Monday. Sometimes we find ourselves between jobs but are eager to stay current within our industry. Volunteering to stay proficient provides a dual benefit. We become more marketable and our communities benefit from our service. We experienced this during the recent recession when Americans between jobs used a seemingly bad situation and flipped it into a positive for themselves and the community. Team Rubicon has always been a resilient team. We thrive when situations go from bad to worse. Our military heritage built this resilience organically. Team Rubicon provides us opportunities to redefine ourselves personally and professionally.

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How to stay involved:

We have the opportunity to bridge the gap, from military service to civilian employment through skilled volunteerism. We are becoming practitioners. Interested in banking? Lead our finance teams. Looking to take disaster response to the next level? Apply for the Clay Hunt Fellows Program. Building code or design portfolios? Join forces with your membership and communications teams. Pursuing a career as a mental health counselor? Become ASIST trained.

As we redefine a generation, disrupt an industry, and serve our communities, we must seize these inimitable opportunities to develop ourselves as leaders, practitioners, and experts.

How to help? Hit up your regional leadership.
Have some serious connections? Hit up your Division Administrators.
Is your organization hiring? Post the details in our Roll Call job board.
Have a cool story about how being with Team Rubicon landed you a job? Share it, hit up your Regional Communications Manager. We love sharing your stories.

  • Kirk

    Well put, Pat Ross. It’s easy to take for granted the wide range of applied skills Team Rubicon needs and cultivates.