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How Volunteering Can Help Your Career

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Not sure why volunteering is such an important part of a complete professional life? Check out this article from an ICS Canada employee discussing her experience with volunteering!

I love volunteering. I always feel like I’ve accomplished something good after a volunteer day, whether it’s cleaning up a local park or helping at a soup kitchen. Knowing that what I did that day made a difference to at least one person is pretty great. There are so many organizations that need an extra helping hand, it’s easy to rack up the volunteer hours without even considering how much time you’re donating. I also love volunteering because it’s an important, often missing, building block on a person’s resume. Volunteer opportunities can be especially important if you’re just out of college or are applying for your first “real” job. Check out a few ways helping out your community can help out your career:

  • Volunteering can show you have a great work ethic. If you’re new to the workforce or you’ve had the same job for so long, volunteering is the perfect way to show hiring managers that you’re dedicated and hard-working. Experience is important, especially if you’re looking to move into a very specific field, but it can also be taught over time. A strong sense of dedication and work ethic is harder to teach and employers want someone they know will be at the office and do their best on a regular basis. If you’ve been volunteering for a while or want to start, make sure to add that to your resume! Not sure how to include it on your resume? Check out this advice from Monster.
  • It can expand your network. Besides skill and dedication, landing a job can really come down to knowing there’s actually a job open. While most employers will post openings on job boards, there are still awesome positions that can only be found on the employer’s website. You have to search and know what you’re looking for. One of the most beneficial things volunteering can do for your career is expanding your professional and social networks. Besides getting the inside scoop on open positions at other companies, your expanded network can often open other doors or become references when you’re job searching.
  • You can learn new skills. Depending on where you volunteer, you may have to go through some sort of training course, whether it’s an hour video or sixty hours of training workshops. Even if you don’t have to go through a training period where you volunteer, you’ll pick up new skills along the way. This could be something as simple as learning how to peel a potato at a soup kitchen to developing the soft skills employers find so valuable.

If you’ve never volunteered before or aren’t sure how to get started, checking out a local newspaper for opportunities is a great way to start. You can strengthen your community and your resume at the same time!

Categories: Career Planning
Tags: careers;

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