Career Focus

Ways Volunteering can enhance your career

Volunteering is a great way to give back to your community and help those less fortunate, but most people may not realize it can benefit your career as well. It can help you demonstrate and build skills that can help you land a new job or advance your current company position. 76% of career advisers say that past volunteering experience will likely make you land the job.

Volunteering can enhance your career in the following ways;

Volunteering gives you work experience.
Most employers want workers who have workplace experience. Volunteer experience shows employers that you can manage your time and complete your tasks. It also shows that you can get along with others and make a commitment. Your volunteer record can show an employer that you have the attitudes and skills they are looking for in a potential employee.


Networking Opportunities

According to professional staffing and recruiting service provider LaSalle Network, more than 60% of all jobs are found by networking. Your network is all the people you know and all the people they know. Volunteering gives you the chance to meet new people and expand your network. Keep a list of the contacts you make while volunteering. These include staff, board members, clients, other volunteers and suppliers. You never know who might help you and how.

Volunteering helps you develop skills.
Volunteering gives you a chance to build on skills you already have and learn new ones. For example, as a volunteer you might be able to use your second language or public speaking skills. You could also learn a new computer program or develop new customer service skills.
If you’re employed, you may want to look for volunteer opportunities that strengthen skills you have but are not currently using in your work.

However, be realistic about your current skill level when you apply to volunteer. An organization may need people whose skill level is more advanced than yours in the position you want. Seek opportunities to develop your skills so that you can later qualify for a more challenging position.

Volunteering builds your confidence
Building your confidence is an ever continuous journey when it comes to your career. Volunteering helps you build confidence and ensures you are ever prepared to give your elevator pitch. This is because you are in constant communication with people daily and this fosters your public speaking skills. It helps you feel active, useful and productive.

Volunteering makes you self-aware
Being aware of your skills, accomplishments, interests and values is the foundation of career success. Volunteer experiences can be a good way to learn more about yourself and your potential to grow and develop. It also gives you a chance to find out how other people view you and your strengths.

Volunteering in a role that’s right for you ensures everyone comes ahead. It is a win-win situation. By helping others, you have the opportunity to boost not only your career but also those in need.

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