Volunteering is a great way to give something back to the community. It can also be beneficial if you are job searching. Why not consider donating some of your time and reap some positive effects for your career too?
Demonstrating your key skills
The job market is highly competitive. It can be a struggle to demonstrate you have the skills and experience that an employer is looking for. Volunteering experience can move you in the right direction by showing you:
- have commitment.
- can take the initiative.
- have business acumen.
- can work hard.
- have empathy.
These are all things employers and recruiters look for in potential employees.
Volunteering helps career development
Depending on the type of unpaid work, volunteering brings many opportunities for career development. Often you will be working on projects with a wide variety of characters. This requires negotiation, leadership and management skills. Volunteering can use creativity to solve problems, a skill that can be difficult to demonstrate when your profession is analytical in nature.
These types of ‘soft skills’ are highly sought after, especially by large organisations looking for employees who can ‘see the bigger picture’. You can also improve your technical skills or learn new ones while helping others.
Another benefit of helping the community is the connections you can make. These networking contacts can flag potential opportunities in the job market. They can also put you in touch with employers looking to hire people with your skills and experience, boosting your job search.
Voluntary work options
Volunteering is a popular option whatever your age. Don’t think of it as one for just retired people. Opportunities are varied, so choose wisely as you’re more likely to continuing giving your time to something that interests you. Here are some options to think about.
From school fetes to major sport events, these can give you valuable event management, fundraising or tourism experience.
There are a wide range of not-for-profits. Many rely on volunteer support for their survival so why not contribute your bookkeeping or retail management skills?
If you have social work or community services training, these services can train you to support people in crisis.
Want to work with animals? Volunteer your services to organisations helping sick and injured animals.
Thinking about joining the defence forces, or becoming a paramedic or firefighter? Volunteering for an organisation like the State Emergency Services or Rural Fire Services can provide valuable experience.
Make a difference to the environment while investing in your future career prospects. From cleaning up your local waterway to staffing an information stall at a local event.
If you’re keen on working in the aged care profession (one of Australia’s fastest growing industry sectors), volunteering with organisations such as Meals on Wheels can be rewarding. It can also be beneficial to your career prospects.