As a fresh graduate, undergraduate, or entry-level candidate, grabbing the opportunity to give back to society through volunteering always feels fulfilling. However, beyond the satisfaction gained from impacting lives through unpaid work, volunteering also helps boost your career development.
Volunteering simply means giving your time to an organisation (NGO, Public, and Private) for unpaid work. Sharing your time with an organisation is important in getting all the experience and skills needed in a competitive job market and can help you land that dream job and achieve your career goals.
IMPORTANCE OF VOLUNTEERING FOR CAREER DEVELOPMENT
Build New Skills And Refine Existing Skills
Many volunteer jobs provide the opportunity to build new skills by watching or working side-by-side in real-time, with those who are more experienced and more knowledgeable in certain fields. There are some organisations which also offer training to volunteers to boost their skillset and knowledge bank.
You might have developed some level of expertise for a particular field, and feel well-positioned for your dream career but you should never be too relaxed, there are always more skills to be learnt in order to build your capacity.
As a volunteer, the opportunity to refine existing skills is also presented. You can try your hands on new things or see how differently you can do the things you already know how to do.
Meet More People And Connect
Your Network is Your Networth!
Volunteering gives you the opportunity to meet new people and expand your network. It is important to create and maintain a good relationship with the people you meet whilst volunteering.
Also, it’s important to keep in touch with these people after your period of volunteering. Some of these relationships can either get you your next job or help you seamlessly develop your career by providing mentorship and career advice.
Gives Your Resume A Good Look
Your resume is your first impression you give a recruiter or an employer.
Adding your volunteer experience to your resume allows recruiters or employers to see how selfless and committed you are to giving back to society. It also shows a strong level of responsibility and commitment to work, something every employer wants to see.
Remember to showcase the title of your volunteer position, and detail your job description.
Also, include strategic activities you carried out and skills gained from your volunteering.
Creates Leadership Opportunities And Build Confidence
Volunteering allows volunteers to either showcase hidden leadership qualities or develop leadership skills. Challenging environments and teamwork provide practical situations for volunteers to showcase or develop leadership skills.
Walking with your head up and talking with a lot of confidence makes you look good in front of a potential employer. Getting hands-on experience, building your network, developing new skills, leading, and working with teams, all add up to your knowledge and experience bank, thereby, building a volunteer’s confidence.
Knowledge is power.
Helps You Discover Yourself And Determine Career Goals
Sometimes, your goal only becomes clearer when you get your hands dirty.
Getting to work with others, try out new things, develop new skills, and meeting new people can help you better know yourself, identify your strength and weaknesses, and also point you towards your career goals.
Gives insight into an opportunity or industry
Volunteering helps you explore different opportunities and industries.
Volunteering to work in an industry you admire gives the volunteer insights on the nature of jobs, and skills needed to excel in the industry. You also get to meet and network with industry captains. Beyond this, it helps you ascertain if that is the career path or trajectory for you or not.
Whether it is feeling fulfilled or taking the opportunity to give back to society, volunteering for work exposes you to real work situations, providing you with the opportunity to learn new skills, refine existing skills, and meet people, thereby developing employability skills that help you stand out in a competitive labour market.
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