How Volunteering and Charity May Help You to Boost Your Career

The majority of people are likely to underestimate volunteering experience and never to consider these non-paid jobs. But voluntary work has a lot of hidden potential that people don't know about. Let's find out benefits of volunteering it can bring to you, what precious skills you can develop while working as a volunteer and most importantly how this experience will boost your career.

If you struggle with finding a decent job, volunteering will be a perfect solution for you. When you volunteer you will have the opportunity to enhance your skills, experience and gain a lot of new abilities and knowledge that will be highly appreciated on the job market and will make you more employable. Volunteering will be helpful not just for inexperienced job seekers, but for those who are changing their career path, for older job hunters and for those who want to go international. Fortunately, opportunities and ways to volunteer are immense nowadays.

It can be a final touch for an employer, especially for an overseas one that will convince him to hire you because this kind of experience shows your passion for what you do and a high level of commitment. Very often volunteering and charity can be an essential part of company's corporate culture, in most international companies as well. This experience can make you the best fit for a position.

According to numerous studies, more than 75% recruiters consider voluntary work experience extremely valuable and such candidates are more desirable to them. James Carter, Career Coach at GoodHired said: "Volunteer experience is something most candidates lack, but most hiring managers are desperately looking for". Research of the CNCS (Corporation for National and Community Service) shows that former volunteers have 27% higher chances to get hired than non-volunteer applicants. As you can see, volunteer skills and experience is something that will make you stand out from the crowd of other candidates with similar experience.

Thanks to volunteer opportunities you will have a chance to improve your communication, management skills, team working abilities and much more. Here is the list of what skills you can develop while working for some non-profit organizations. 

1. Develop soft skills

Volunteering will help you to enhance skills you already possess or probably to acquire new ones. Skills gained from volunteering are valuable and will be applicable in any industry. These qualities will make you an outstanding candidate and may help you to climb the ladder.

  • Leadership skills

You will acquire strong leadership skills. Volunteers usually tackle some organizational issues, assign responsibilities and maintain an effective workflow. It's important to know how to organize people, so these skills will be crucial for some professions.

  • Team working

Volunteering is all about collaboration and teamwork. It is a constant interaction with people, so you will become a great team player. You will have successfully work with other volunteers. Who knows, maybe you will motivate others and help them if they need it.

  • Problem-solving

Volunteering implies performing a wide range of various tasks along with communicating with people. And it's natural that some challenging situations may occur. You will learn how to cope with it in a successful way.

  • Verbal Communication skills

You will definitely improve your communication skills through constant liaison with colleagues, children and people with disabilities.

  • Initiative

Volunteering teaches you how not to be afraid of taking initiatives. The ability to come up with new fresh ideas and to take on responsibility will be paramount in any job.

  • Self-motivation and Drive

You will have an opportunity to discover your skills that you were unaware of before. You will see your strengths and learn more about yourself. It is also a nice opportunity to reveal your potential. Understanding that things you do matter will be your motivation to keep this up.

  • Build self-confidence

If you have been unemployed, you can start feeling discouraged. If you struggle with finding a job, volunteering boosts your confidence. It lifts your spirits, makes you feel active, productive and useful for people. 

2. Develop organizational skills and creative thinking

Charity volunteer work will give you a chance to apply your entire creativeness in order to find the right approach to different people and to creatively organize a workflow and solve some eventual issues.

3. Makes you more adaptable and open-minded

You will perform different unusual responsibilities and tasks. You will become more adaptable, flexible and open-minded. In the future, it will help you to adjust to any life/work situation.

4. Expands your network

If you struggle with your job search volunteering will expand your network. It gives you an opportunity to meet new people, establish new relationships. Make a list of contacts, chances are they may help you someday to achieve your professional goals.

5. Get experience of working in new industry

Volunteering is the perfect possibility to work in a new career field. It gives you a chance to explore different occupations and industry sectors. You can choose a field that you are interested in but didn't know how to pursue a career in that field. You can try working in libraries, teaching, sports coaching, fundraising, try health and social care voluntary work or some other kind of charity job. The requirements are not so strong and benefits you may get will exceed all your expectations. You will build and most importantly hone new skills with ease and this might be the best life-changing experience for you. Moreover, it'll help you to explain gaps in your employment history, if you have some.

6. It has an impact on your CV and interview

While creating a resume for the desired position, you can add your volunteer experience to an appropriate section. This precious background will set you apart from other candidates and significantly increase your chances to get a successful outcome of a job search. It will also show your intrinsic motivation in a position.

Conclusion

As you can see, voluntary work experience can become the most rewarding and interesting experience in your life. Make it your passion and it will bring so many benefits that you would never expect to get. This experience will make you stand out while job hunting and will persuade a hiring manager to prefer you over other candidates, even if you're a transfer applicant. If you want to succeed, go volunteer!

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24 October 2017
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