If you are looking for a new job or thinking about making a change in career, volunteering can propel you forward. Not only does your heart and mind get a positive boost from making your community a better place, but volunteerism may help you in the workplace, too. Here are 6 ways that your career can flourish from volunteering.
Volunteer experience is just as marketable as professional experience. Whether it’s a long-term board of directors position or a one-time opportunity, you can walk away with in-depth training and hands-on practice that you can apply to future endeavors.
Volunteering gives you the chance to build on skills that you already have and acquire new skills. You might have the opportunity to gain knowledge about a new computer program, develop your people skills, or practice soft skills such as communication, flexibility, conflict management, patience or teamwork. Look for a place to volunteer where you can use your current skill set to help out but also ensure that it’s an opportunity that challenges you so that you walk away with lessons learned.
Build your résumé
Volunteer experiences can add depth to your résumé and help you get noticed during the application process. Volunteering can make your application stand out in the metaphorical pile (everything is digital now, right?) by showing your charitable side. Employers are all about giving back and a potential candidate that shows a strong sense of social responsibility will be seen as a positive culture fit. It will show that you’re committed and that you have a good work-life balance.
Expand your network
You never know who you will be standing next to as you sort through used clothing. Through volunteering, you can develop new relationships, make industry contacts, hear about word-of-mouth job opportunities or be introduced to a potential mentor. If you volunteer at an organization that’s closely related to your line of work, your chances will be higher of running into individuals from your industry.
Get to know an industry
If you are looking to change the path of your career and start working in a different industry, volunteering can help you learn about it and be better prepared for your future job hunt. You also might realize that it’s not the right path for you; either way, there is a lesson learned!
Learn about yourself
There is a wealth of valuable knowledge and experience that you can acquire from volunteering; you can even learn about yourself! You can learn about your strengths and weaknesses and build self-confidence as you continue to grow. The foundation of career success is truly knowing yourself so that you can always challenge yourself to develop personally and professionally.
If you are trying to climb the corporate ladder, land a new job or simply build up your skillset, volunteering can help you be successful while you are bettering your local community.