If you are having little success looking for a job, you may consider volunteering. Whether you are unemployed, looking for a career change, are a recent college graduate or transitioning back into the workplace, this can work out well for you for many reasons.
Besides learning new skills and/or investigating what field you have the most interest in, volunteering enables you to test a job environment without a long-term commitment.
Volunteering provides a benefit also found also in temporary assignments — it is a way to ‘test the waters’ of a career choice. It also gives you a head’s up on the organization’s job openings. You learn how the organization is run, what the employees and managment are like and if you would be comfortable working there. I worked at a temp agency that placed me in a job where I was offered employment — for 25 years.
If your work ethic is a good one and you have performed your volunteer job tasks successfully, you may be considered as a prime candidate to fit an upcoming position. Many people began successful careers as volunteers. Your age or experience won’t matter as much as how you get the work accomplished. And your performance ‘on the job’ is your best resume.
You, as a volunteer, can find out first-hand about the organization’s mission, which is usually a nonprofit entity. Search for one that you would like to work for – especially one you have an interest in or passion in what they accomplish. In “Excuse Me, Your Job is Waiting: Attract the Work you Want”, it is said, “It’s a passion that sends out good vibrations. When somebody is passionate about what they are doing, they are doing their best. The people around them see them at their best and want to work with them…..and come to mind when a paying job is available.”
If your passion runs super high and you ‘really want a job there’ be careful not to press too much. Repeated reminders to the staff about how important it is to ‘work a real job’ and make countless inquires into what’s available is a turn-off and you may not be considered for a job there if one does come up.
Some opportunities can arise if you volunteer one, two, three times a week or even one day a month. There are temporary agencies who can even give you a good reference and you will get paid, too! Even if you don’t get the job where you volunteer, you can investigate a new field, add new skills to your portfolio as well as acquire valuable networking contacts that may help your job search. If you did your best as if it were a paying job, you can procure an excellent letter of recommendation.
Marie Coppola October 2019
Ref: Quintessential Careers: Sharon Reed http://www.quintcareers.com/volunteering_to_new_career.html