Time for a career change?
Whether you’re looking for a new job or trying to change fields entirely, you need to stand out from the crowd and make connections that will open doors. For many people, volunteering is the solution, offering a perfect opportunity to learn new skills and make valuable connections while providing much needed service to communities. Here are some of the benefits of using volunteering to land a new job:
Put Your Skills to Use, and Learn New Ones:
Looking for a job in tech? Volunteer to fix PCs or run a website for a non-profit. Want to be an event planner? Volunteer to help an organization with fundraising or other mission-based events. Interested in healthcare? Apply the skills you’ve gained over your career to explore new fields.
Visit the Volunteer HQ volunteer matching hub to tailor your search by interests as varied as education, healthcare, environment or animals.
Improve your LinkedIn profile:
You can include volunteer work in your LinkedIn “skills” list. When a recruiter searches for people with certain skills, your profile will land in the pile. According to LinkedIn, one in five managers has hired someone based on their volunteer experience. Don’t forget to connect with your volunteer network on LinkedIn, just as you would your work colleagues.
Meet the Right People:
You never know who you’ll meet doing volunteer work. Since many jobs these days are found through personal connections, any chance to expand your network is a plus, and joining a nonprofit board can be a good way to create positive relationships with influential people outside of a traditional work environment. “A potential benefit of board service is that you could meet people in positions to help you advance your career,” says Lanita McCormick, VP of Volunteer Engagement for United Way of Massachusetts Bay and Merrimack Valley.
Join a Non-Profit Board! Our annual Board Connection event on May 12th is the perfect opportunity to get connected.
Stay in the Game:
Employers like to hire people who are motivated and hard-working, even if they aren’t getting paid for their efforts. Treat your volunteer service like a job – showing your professionalism even if the engagement is only a few hours a week. Your commitment may even give you the inside track on paid positions when the nonprofit has an opening.
Keep up Your Confidence:
Maintaining a positive mindset is critical for any job seeker. Staying busy and productive, and contributing to a cause that matters will help keep your spirits high; and meeting people who need your help can often put setbacks into perspective.
Bottom line? Volunteering feels great and it’s good for you. Why not start today?