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How Volunteering Can Help Advance Your Career

Volunteering is more than just a thing to put on your resume; it can be just as significant as work experience. In addition to the opportunity to give something back to the community and make a difference, volunteering can also be an opportunity to develop new skills, build on existing experience and knowledge, and make connections. This article – Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits – highlights several the benefits as well as how and where to find and evaluate opportunities.

In light of recent events we thought we would highlight some organizations that are actively working towards advancing racial equality and social justice.

Here’s how volunteering can help advance your career goals from the article mentioned above “Volunteering and its Surprising Benefits

If you’re considering a new career, volunteering can help you get experience in your area of interest and meet people in the field. Even if you’re not planning on changing careers, volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice important skills used in the workplace, such as teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. You might feel more comfortable stretching your wings at work once you’ve honed these skills in a volunteer position first.

Teaching you valuable job skills

Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training. For example, you could become an experienced crisis counselor while volunteering for a women’s shelter or a knowledgeable art historian while donating your time as a museum docent.

Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, if you hold a successful sales position, you can raise awareness for your favorite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills.

Gaining career experience

Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. In some fields, you can volunteer directly at an organization that does the kind of work you’re interested in. For example, if you’re interested in nursing, you could volunteer at a hospital or a nursing home. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could benefit your career.

Additional Sources to find Volunteer Opportunities:

  • VolunteerMatch – Find opportunities that match your volunteer interests, from location to type of work.
  • Idealist – Find volunteer opportunities in your local area or internationally.
  • National and Community Service – Federal organization offering volunteer positions across the U.S.
  • Volunteer – Directory of environmental volunteer opportunities.
  • American Red Cross – Volunteer in any of the Red Cross’s key service areas.

Remember you can to talk with a Career Coach about your unique situation by making an appointment through Handshake.

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