Volunteering is without a doubt a fantastic way to gain job experience before applying for a new position regardless of how many years of experience you already have in your chosen industry. There are so many benefits to volunteering that it would be impossible to cover them all. However, volunteering isn’t only about furthering a cause you believe in. It’s also a credible way to build skills that will expand your career options, open doors, and even help you find your dream job. Take a look below to see how volunteering can benefit your career.
Volunteering is a great way to learn a new skill or develop an existing one. Finding an opportunity that allows you to give back while also adding a new skill set to your resume makes you that much more hireable. Putting forth the initiative to not only make the time to volunteer, but to also find the niche within the organization that will help you in your career, shows thought, drive, and a determination to succeed, all qualities employers look for in a new hire.
Non-profit organizations are masters at networking as they often rely on a strong, wide-reaching network to bring in donations and spread the word about their work. If you do the work well, strive to build meaningful relationships, and make it a point to meet new people, you are very likely to build a strong network. Whether that network informs you about a new position opening up in their company or can get you an interview at a competitive organization, the connections you make are as meaningful as you make them and can lead to many more opportunities. Just remember to be authentic in your interactions so that the opportunities that result from them can be fine-tuned to your aspirations.
Gain Experience in an Industry
Whether you’re just beginning your career in an industry or are making a career change, volunteering can give you crucial experience needed to land that perfect job. Find an organization that is similar or identical to the industry in which you want to work, so the skills you perform while volunteering directly translate to a paying position. Make sure to emphasize your role and accomplishments on your resume instead of just listing the organization. The experience you gain volunteering is just as valid as a paid internship, especially when the same skills are learned.
Become More Well-Rounded
If you have been passed over for promotions or can never seem to get past the last round of interviews, consider volunteering. The extra effort on your part can make a huge difference in the long run. By donating your time and skills, you can get training to learn additional skills or tasks where you are lacking. The volunteering opportunity will allow you to fill out your resume, gain you experience in an area you need to improve, while also showing employers your willingness to learn new skills.
Find Your Strengths
When you’re just beginning to search for a career that will bring you fulfillment, it can be hard to know exactly where to start. Volunteering can give you a sense of direction, help you learn where your passion lies, and helps you discover which strengths you possess and where there’s room for improvement. Before committing to one position permanently, try out a few different roles to see which aspects you like best about each one to refine your job search later.
Make an Impact
There’s nothing quite like making a meaningful contribution to an organization you believe in. Volunteering ensures a non-profit organization’s success while also giving you the opportunity to make a positive impact in your community. Plus, it looks great on your resume too. The next time you’re considering volunteering, remember to think about all of the ways it can make a positive impact not only on your community but also on your career.