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Building Confidence at Home

Martin is one of dozens of professionals who have donated their time to ensure that IDV was able to raise the funds we need to keep saving lives. We asked Martin to tell us what his time as an IDV volunteer meant to him:

“When like many others I found myself looking for a job last year… I found the market was tough. I’d been out of work for 3 months and despite applying for numerous jobs, some of which led to interviews I unfortunately had not had any offers.
During my last interview I was asked what I had been doing with my time, and apart from job applications and renovating my bathroom I didn’t have a lot to say. At that moment I realised I should probably find something else to occupy myself and started looking for something else to do with my time, as much for my own sanity as well as helping me in the jobs market.
Volunteering seemed like a sensible thing to do, so I visited VAL, or the Voluntary Action centre in Leicester to register my interest in volunteering… [At VAL] I found a job description of Online Advertising Coordinator for IDV, and although I had not heard of IDV, I had heard of the disaster affected communities in Haiti and the Philippines.
I applied, andafter a chat and a coffee with [IDV staff] Emma and Andrew where they got me up to speed with their activities and their requirements for a volunteer it became clear that I could help them and we agreed I start work immediately. The role would involve using a Google Grant of $10,000 (£6,000) a month to position Pay-Per-Click (PPC) advertisements in the Google search engine.  I worked part time from home to expand IDVs sponsored keywords. My work generated a lot more exposure for IDV and was quickly delivering over 7,000 visits a month to their website and online registrations went up as well. 
From a personal perspective the chance to volunteer was of great benefit to me and proved to be an excellent way of applying my skills to benefit a great cause whilst at the same time gaining some invaluable experience. It proved to be a springboard for further progression, reinvigorating my interest in digital marketing at a time when I was a little disheartened and lacking direction.
After volunteering for IDV it was definitely easier to look for work as I was more confident in my abilities and also more focused on finding a job that involved PPC. I was much more relaxed at interviews as I knew I had a good response when asked what I had been doing with my time. Prospective employers considered volunteering to be equivalent to paid work and found they quickly went from asking about “when I volunteered” to “when I worked” for IDV in interviews. I included the voluntary post on my CV as part of my work experience, which is exactly what it was. Work experience.
I now work full time as a PPC Account Manager for a marketing agency called Boom Online where I do exactly what I did for IDV but for a wider range of websites. I really enjoy my work and am really thankful for the opportunity with IDV as I don’t think I would have got to where I am without it.”
Like so many of our at home volunteers, Martin’s work both helped him build his CV while giving us the tools we needed to reach donors and volunteers. We’d like to extend a very warm welcome to Martin and all of our at home volunteers!