Disclaimer before we start this episode– We are not trying to be a “cheesy do-gooder” to get off your couch and get busy making a difference in the world. We are here to share with you the tremendous impact that volunteering and community involvement can have on your life. Volunteering for your community is more than just your opportunity to do something good for your community—it can also have a major positive impact on your job search and professional career!!
Here are our 5 reasons why you should get involved:
- You will develop and refine new skills.
Do you have a case of “the empty resume” blues? Don’t worry- a lot of students do! Fill in the empty space with meaningful and purposeful work. Experience is always valuable, whether it was paid or unpaid. Volunteering is a great way to experiment and learn new skills without the pressure of your professional reputation or job standing.
- It will boost your self-confidence.
Community service and volunteer work can be very rewarding if the matter is important to you. You should take pride in being a part of it. For instance, at your next job interview, you can share about it and have real world experience to speak from! Not to mention, you will also feel good about developing your skills and making a difference in the world!
- It will expand your network.
Networking does not just happen at formal networking events or on LinkedIn. It happens through shared experiences.
This article on the Muse states, “Generally, volunteer opportunities have a pretty friendly, low-pressure environment. This means that you can have genuine, engaging conversations with people who share your interests—without that awkward air of expectations. Chances are, you’ll make more meaningful connections doing this than you ever have around the appetizer table at a networking event.” In today’s world, it’s all about who you know!
- It will empower you.
Volunteering allows you to make a real difference in the lives of others. We live in such a busy world, that sometimes we forget to do work that we really care about. When you take time to give back, you impact the lives of theirs. Your time and talent makes a difference. And you will find that it is refreshing to do something for someone else.
Like many graduating students, the search to get a job can dominate your life. Talk about S-T-R-E-S-S. Or, if you are a college freshman or sophomore, new to a community or city, the sense of not knowing anyone, or not knowing your way around can be very intimidating. Whatever the reason is that you find yourself at home or feeling alone, volunteering will have a place to go and an opportunity to get rid of your sense of overwhelming isolation.
- You can change the world. (For reals.)
This is the obvious reason. We all want to leave this world knowing that we have made a difference. The millennials generation especially! We want to feel fulfilled and do work in an area that is meaningful and important to us.
This quote by George Bernard Shaw says it all:
I want to be thoroughly used up when I die, for the harder I work the more I live. I rejoice in life for its own sake. Life is no “brief candle” for me. It is a sort of splendid torch which I have got hold of for the moment, and I want to make it burn as brightly as possible before handing it on to future generations. – George Bernard Shaw
Q: Where to find volunteer opportunities in my community?
A: Check out these websites:
…OR go directly to an organization that you support and ask them what you can do to help. You’ll get more back than you ever imagined!
We’d love to hear your thoughts! Send your ideas and questions directly to Joan using #Passion2Action to @JoanKuhl on Twitter or you can email us at YourCareerAdvice@gmail.com.
Read more #Passion2Action on The College Juice!