You are through with school, and just diving into the job field. Contrary from what you thought, this work life requires you to have some experience before the employer drops some pennies into your purse. Then you think to yourself; what in the world must I do to give my C.V a face lift! I have good news for you! Volunteering is going to do the magic. It may not have an immediate monetary turn over but its effects are far reaching.
Towards the end of my university, we had someone who came to talk us about the benefits of volunteering and how important it is, if we were to compete fairly in the work environment in which we were headed in just a couple of months. Now believe you me, it felt far fetched for many of us because we were at point where we had even imagined our first paycheck, what we would do with that money and all. We had everything ‘figured’ out to the last detail. Long story short, many of us did not even bother to show up for that workshop. I tell you, it was scotching rough out here when we set foot in the working life. My friends and I always got asked for volunteering experience wherever we applied until we decided to succumb to the pressure of volunteering. Luckily enough we got places where we were able to volunteer and many of us got our first job placements at the very places we volunteered. Do not wait to have it rough, find out how volunteering will boost your CV today. Here are my top 7 benefits.
- Earns you experience
For starters let us face it, going through school gives you little time to put the theory given into practice. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to translate the theory into the required practice. Imagine the wealth of experience you gather as you are out there volunteering. This makes you get a hold of managing time and tasks given which is essentially what the employer is looking for when he or she asks for your experience. Unknown to you, employers always look out for people who have volunteered before for reasons such as these.
- Widens your network
A famous quote from Tim Sanders reads, “Your network is your net worth” As you volunteer; you get the opportunity to meet an array of different people including staff, board members, clients who are more than likely to be the ladder on which you climb to your first job. The pressure of networking events tends to be more relaxed while in a volunteering position. As different assignments handed to you, you get to meet and work with different people who have different personalities and circles. This becomes a ripple effect that you get to know their people too, there by getting you more exposed and essentially growing your network.
- Gives clarity on making a career decision
Volunteering at a particular organization, gives you real feel of the work environment and what this does in turn is that, it gives you the opportunity to decide whether this is the career path you want to take. Have you seen people who do things or are at jobs they do not enjoy? You can avoid locking yourself in this ‘unhappy’ world by getting the test before completely making up your mind to settle in that particular career path. As a volunteer you are not bound like you would be if you were signed on contract. What this means is that you can easily out at any given moment in time thus giving you the opportunity to choose a career path that you enjoy. A job you love to wake up to.
- Confidence booster
Nothing excites an employer like someone who is confident both in speech and in the execution of their work. Volunteering is going to boost your confidence as you get well versed with what you are doing. There is always a natural sense of accomplishment on top of giving you a sense of pride and identity whenever you make good. You will be amazed at how much more confident you have become at the end of your volunteering experience which one is not likely to get when they do not get the opportunity to volunteer. Your interpersonal skills are stretched and grown to whole other level and even your self-esteem out in there will be evident.
Did you know that there is no better way to know yourself better than when you are volunteering? As you volunteer you get to understand your skills, values, interests and accomplishments which are a very big pillar in your career success. You will time and again get feedback from your supervisor and this helps you discover yourself in a whole new level. As you progress into your career and you are now applying for your job, you will be in a better place to know where to focus your energies to get better. For those areas where you are aware that you are exceptionally good, you will be able to capitalize on them, thereby giving you a competitive edge over other candidates.
- Skill development
Volunteering gives you a chance to develop further those skills you have already and even get better at them; but also gives you an opportunity to acquire new skills you did not have. You can even get the opportunity to learn a second language after all you have more time on your hands at this moment. Look at volunteering as a bridge connecting all types of actors. Everyone brings their skill to table and together as a whole, you get a share of the many skills brought forth. By doing so, skills and connections are formed into something beneficial to both the volunteers and the organization.
- Deepen your knowledge
When volunteering, you get to work with professionals who have a deep wealth of knowledge coupled with so much experience. What better way can one get to deepen their knowledge other than learning from the best themselves? This will open up your mind in all kinds of unimaginable ways and also give you a different perspective of certain things after sharing into the minds of the experts. You will need to have an attitude and desire to learn if you are to get the best out of this. Ask as many questions as you can; after all you are the biggest beneficiary here.
If you thought volunteering was a waste of time, you may need to reconsider and try to explore some avenues for volunteering today.