9 Ways Volunteering Can Help Shape Your Career

Are you a student who doesn’t have time in your busy schedule to gain work experience? Are you looking for ways to get involved with your community? Have you thought about volunteering for local organizations, but just aren’t sure? The article below shares 9 ways you can advance your career by volunteering.

Volunteering is a mutually beneficial opportunity; a chance to help the greater good, while providing you with great self-reward. What you might not know is that volunteering is well worth your time and effort in order to advance in your career, or transition into a new one. Consider the reasons why… and then volunteer!

1. Sharpen Newly Obtained Skills

New certifications, diplomas, or degrees can benefit the organization. Putting that education to work, and sharpening your real-world skills, will only cost you time. Volunteering will make a big difference in your continuing education and skill development.

2. Make Mistakes and Learn from Them

While volunteering, you can choose an environment that is slower and will tolerate trial and error depending on the work. Having a mentor who has time to monitor your progress and provide feedback is a tremendous asset.

3. Time to Do Something Bold

Something different you want to try? Want to extend your comfort zones? Volunteering can provide an opportunity to take a calculated risk.

4. Reveal Weaknesses, Then Strengthen

This is an element that many people are afraid to get past. We would like to ride out our strengths to the sunset, but the reality is: we are afraid to grow and change. Volunteering is an opportunity to take on our weaknesses, and make them far less of an issue.

5. Try New Approaches to Solving Old Problems

To some degree, everyone has to become a marketer in his or her career. When you’re starting or changing career paths, you must market yourself in a way that shows how your current skills and attributes apply to your new career. Additionally, you must try new approaches to old problems. Volunteering provides that platform.

6. Build your Relevancy

It has been proven that volunteering can create great work experience, especially if you are piloting a new career path. Additionally, volunteering is a great opportunity to add meaningful references and build mentor relationships.

7. Networking

You will not be the only one who uses volunteering as a networking platform. For many job seekers who volunteer, the networking opportunities alone are more than worth the investment of time.

8. Gain International Experience

International work experience in any field is impressive and often it brings you new problems to solve. Mostly, it provides you with the global perspective many employers look for in candidates. If working internationally is important to you and your career, consider volunteering for a global organization.

9. Documentation of your Journey for a Blog or Video

Taking others on your journey with you, whether a blog or video, or even a training manual, immediately adds to your career credibility (and if you ask your place of service if you can video, many times they will say yes). This effort will demonstrate your passion for the mission, work ethic and willingness to serve… which can bring recruiters and employers to you.

Volunteering is a great way to self-learn, build your resume, expand your network and present you as a valuable asset to a potential employer… all while serving others.

Read the original article here on YouTern>>

By Maeghan Myers
Maeghan Myers Graduate Student Assistant