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Virtual Job Club Day 17: Become a Local Hero

Yup, that’s right: To get hired, you should become a hero. Today is my birthday and it’s no accident that I’ve saved my favorite topic for today.

There’s a method to this madness and it works. When you give back to your community in a smart, strategic manner, you can make a name for yourself and establish a great reputation around town. This isn’t ordinary volunteering. This is all about creating your very own local hero project.

Today, Laurie Baggett, a tireless promoter who is passionate about connecting individuals with opportunities, is going to show you how to establish yourself as a local hero. She did it — and it caught my attention in a big way. In fact, I wound up featuring her on Good Morning America because I was so impressed and inspired by her work.

Click play below to learn all about this unique approach to landing your next job.

And in the mean time, share some ideas below of how and where you could get out in the community and volunteer in a way that’s CLOSELY connected to what you want to get paid to do.

Make it a great day!



  1. Maureen Reintjes

    Since I am Communications / PR / Social Media Adminsistrator virtually anything I volunteer with involves my skills. I have community and national exposure.

    -Former long-term job club facilitator (Sacred Heart Job Club, Shawnee, KS and Nativity’s Career Transition Group, Leawood, KS)

    -Currently the founder and administrator, in partnership with the Kansas City Star, of a large online job club that has over 2,200 members: Kansas City Metro Networking Job Club (

    -Current National Missing and Unidentified Persons System Victims Advocate for Kansas (

    -Current Doe Network Advisor (

    -Current advocate for the families of the missing

    -Current Administrator of Peace4 the Missing ( – Support site and voice platform for families of the missing.

    I have pushed volunteerism since the 90’s with job seekers but I’ve also warned to not go into it with just wanting to get something out of it for you. Won’t work. You have to have passion and want to make someone’s life better because you extended your hand out to help. If you go into this “me” focused then the people you serve and the volunteers that are doing this out of passion and concern for others I’m telling you will chew you up and spit you out. “Users” are not liked in the volunteer realm. So look for something you have passion about and find volunteer opportunities within that realm. Volunteer to make an active difference, active is the key word, not just in theory or idealism.

  2. RK

    I could volunteer in my local school district.

  3. Gwen

    I could volunteer at a local museum or other non-profit and ask if they will let me write grants, press releases, etc. for them.

  4. I.S.

    Interesting that this is today’s topic. Just yesterday I was pondering volunteering for agencies that do work for the deaf/hard of hearing and for autism. My son was born with hearing loss in one ear and is just beginning to speak. However, since he is 3 y/o and not making complete sentences, I’m being told that is a sign of autism. I’m praying that he isn’t autistic and have scheduled an appointment for him to be seen by a developmental MD.

    Realizing that my son has a disability (hearing loss) and could be autistic (although God knows I’m not claiming that) has led me to want to advocate for others like him for quality education and health care. Our local school system will provide him speech therapy but wants to put him in a class that is inclusive of other children with different disabilities and who aren’t verbal at all. My concern is that he is really making progress and I am afraid that it will be lost if he is in a setting with children who aren’t talking at all.

    My career dream is to work as a policy analyst in education reform and/or health care. But whose to say I can’t work towards establishing better educational/health policies for children like my son who are living with specific disabilities and need specialized services to address them. I don’t think that putting him in a class with children that all have different needs is the answer.

    Didn’t mean to write so much but I needed to get this off of my chest. Needless to say, dealing with this has hindered my job search some but I am hopeful. God knows best and has my back and I am hopeful that everything will work out.

    Happy Birthday Tori! And thanks for helping all of us!

  5. Alison

    My ideal position would be as a promotional coordinator for a travel company. I can try to volunteer at my local tourism offices. I remember a few years ago applying to a position there and I believe they were looking for volunteers. Here I didn’t think of the benefits of volunteering in my field. I have volunteered in the past at a local church, however my schedule now conflicts it. It was very rewarding and I had a sense of accomplishment each time there. I do miss it. Now it’s time to volunteer where it will benefit me and my future career.

    Happy birthday Tory!

  6. Lois

    I want a job. I don’t want to spend time volunteering or becoming well known in my community. I’m 58 years old and don’t have the energy to do what you suggest. I JUST WANT A JOB!!

  7. Debbie G.

    Since today is the day, Happy Birthday, Tory.

    Ideas for how and where I could get out into the community that would showcase my expertise and help others…

    Offer free talks at the local library on… starting a home based business, becoming a better manager, managing projects well, interviewing for jobs, creating systems and processes for your business or project or job hunt, dressing for the interview,…

    Provide assistance to unemployed people in my area – maybe free resume reviews or interview practice sessions

    I want to think about this one some more – I know I can be more creative than this.

  8. MR

    I’ve volunteered lots at my children’s school, but never has that led to a sales job opportunity! I’ve learned lots, people tell me I do great work, but my volunteer experience is not sales-related

  9. je

    At the present time, my volunteer efforts are limited to serving as an Elder on the Finance Team at my church. Come tax season, I plan on volunteering with VITA. Very few places in the Pittsburgh area are interested in volunteer accounting services. I understand where Lois is coming from, but volunteering can help people our age dispel the myth that we are not as energetic or capable as are younger people. That is why I always try to work my participation in outside interests into the conversation. Age discrimination may be illegal, but it does exist. We need to use whatever tools we can to overcome false perceptions about folks out age. By the way, Lois, I’m almost 62, certainly want and need a job, but would never suggest I’m lacking in energy!

  10. sm

    Very inspirational call. I think it worthwhile to do. I will be thinking of ways I can take the lead in this area over the coming weeks and then do it.

  11. Good Days from Chronic Disease Fund

    Need more volunteering opportunities or ideas? I work with Good Days from Chronic Disease Fund, an organization dedicated to helping chronic disease patients. We need awesome volunteers to join our cause. Check out our website to find ways you can help.

  12. Mary

    I was thinking about offering to help people straighten out identity theft issues, or maybe offer to help them expunge their records, as these issues have come up at the ministry where I volunteer, and it’s easy for me to help out. Or explain how the county guardianship process works, as I used to give presentations on this for one of my former jobs.

    Another idea I had was for women who felt their homes were cluttered or out of control, but didn’t like certain household tasks. Form a clean-up club, where each member has a task they don’t mind doing, and then we quickly go to each member’s house doing all the tasks as fast as we can. That way everyone’s home would get done, with each participant doing the task she likes best at all the homes.

  13. Linda

    My lack of funds to pay for the gas to get to town prevents me from volunteering currently. I’m working on getting a cash source to make volunteering possible.

  14. MJD

    I believe in volunteering. It is my way of giving back to the community.

  15. sad

    i volunteer with habitat for humanity. i have done this for years. i have a great reputation in the community but no one has offered me a job,eventhough i’m working several part time jobs. i think seven years of volunteering should have lead into something.

  16. Jean L.

    It’s essential to focus on the fear (why it’s there and how to manage it) and to focus on what’s hold you back — truly and candidly, because if you don’t, it’ll continue to hurt your search. Those who get it, are so happy to identify the problems and release them. Those who want to continue to complain are clearly doing do. In six months, we’ll see who’s hired and who’s still bitter. Refusing to try new things, refusing to see the opportunity, refusing to make lemonade from lemons is going to prolong your suffering. Either recognize that or good luck because there’s nothing that’ll save you.

  17. PAL

    Our campus instructional technology student association paired with a local HBCU to provide computer skills training to local community members. I remember teaching someone how to open an attachment in her email. She was so thrilled because people sent her attachments and were puzzled about her lack of response. This reminded me that there are still many who are not computer literate and are missing out on so many opportunities. This year our community liaison is considering working with senior citizens.
    I love the “aha” moment when someone gets how to do something new. My secret is I was doing this work for free before I decided to make it a career.

  18. mj

    I have volunteer many times in my life. My last job I got it by volunteering first. I am in the process of doing it again and at the same time applying for other job as I go.

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