Wednesday, June 29, 2011

6 Great Reasons to Do Volunteer Work (Aside From Building Your Resume)

Doing volunteer work is very helpful when it comes to getting nonprofit jobs.  Nonprofits look very highly upon resumes that include this kind of work history, so it makes a lot of sense to get started in this kind of service.  But did you know there are other advantages to doing volunteer work?
  1. It's a great experience.  I suppose this can be subjective, but most people who volunteer will tell you it was one of the best experiences of their lives.  Even if the work you do seems meaningless, it will often help make other people's lives better.  There is something to be said for making the world a better place.
  2. If you work hard enough, you could actually end up being hired.  Take the case of Stephen Anfield, who volunteered at AARP.  The work he did for them helped land him a full time job.  This is as great an example as any why you need to treat everything you do with seriousness.  You never know where the next opportunity will come from.
  3. You can meet some pretty interesting people, many of whom can become great contacts or references for you.  When I volunteered for a local community center in my town, my supervisor became a valuable reference for me when I applied for jobs.  Even when throwing out the work equation, these are people who can become really great friends.
  4. It gives you something to do in your downtime.  The importance of having some sort of structure can't be overstated, especially when you are unemployed.  It's unreasonable to spend your entire day working on your job search.  Having something else to do that is productive will really help improve your overall mood.
  5. It can be fun.  It's rare to do work that can actually be labeled fun, but that's exactly what volunteering can be.  Depending on where you work, you can be doing work outdoors.  And now that it's summer, that can really be appealing.  It's certainly better than sitting in front of a computer all day!
  6. Volunteering can open doors to career paths you never considered.  After doing a lot of volunteer work, it is entirely possible you might discover that the work you have been doing is what you truly enjoy.  This in turn can expand your job search options even further.
You might have been thinking before that volunteering is a waste of time.  Why spend time doing strenuous work when you need all the time you can doing your job search?  Hopefully, after reading this list, you have discovered that it really is worth the time.

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