Four Reasons Volunteering Enhances Your Career


We’ve all said at some point we wish that we had more time in the day. Chances are we would put more on our plate and complain about the same issue. Time is a commodity.  Everyone has 24 hours in a day-how you spend them makes the difference. Invest some of my spare time working with community service organizations.  Be intentional and committed to the cause.

You can enhance your current skills: You can connect with your supervisor by talking about your volunteer work.  Your boss may give you insight about their passions as well. You could be considered to help with a new project because you shared your interests.

Choose a cause you’re passionate about to enjoy your experience.  Place your relevant volunteer experience on your resume.  Serving is a way to stay current in the workforce if you do not have a job. Most hiring managers view volunteerism favorably.

You can explore a new career: Volunteering gives you a chance to learn about a new role.  You may have a technical position and want to look into a creative job.  You could use both skillsets to land another job.  Maintain work-level professionalism at all times.

People who enjoy working with you will tell you.  Ask if they could serve as a reference for you, or put their comments in writing.  Make color copies and save emails of your contributions.

You may like the change or realize it’s not what you thought it would be. At least you have gained the knowledge in a low-pressure situation. Someone told me to look at each opportunity as a suitcase that you take with you wherever you go.

You can learn to lead:  Servant-leadership can humble and challenge you. As a person in charge, you have to set goals, consider your resources, and delegate tasks.  You learn more about your strengths and areas of opportunities.  Ask others to give you honest feedback about your style.  The critiques could help you grow personally and professionally.

You can expand your network: You’ll meet more contacts and possibly future colleagues with common interests.  You know have a name connected to an agency/company.  They could refer you for a position or put you in touch with the decision makers.

Connect with your fellow volunteers on LinkedIn to stay in touch. Promote your organizations through social media.  It is visual proof of your involvement and you could gain some more followers.

Camille Doty is part of the GovLoop Featured Blogger program, where we feature blog posts by government voices from all across the country (and world!). To see more Featured Blogger posts, click here.

Photo Credit: Flickr/ccbarr

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