• Antoinette Minor

Volunteering While Unemployed

Let's just say that sometimes the obvious isn't so obvious to me and I wish I had of heard of this concept much sooner.  Better late than never right?

So, I currently work in a position where I recruit volunteers for a number of things and during the interview process I found that while all of them are volunteering to give back because they are just amazing people, some of them are volunteering while they are looking for new employment.  *Insert aha moment here*

I saw their strategy unfold right before my eyes and thought, "This is genius!"  Volunteering doesn't have to be an action you only do while employed or just as a group with coworkers.  Here are a few reasons why you absolutely should be volunteering why you are looking for employment.

1.  Networking Opportunities for Job Leads Think of all of the people you will meet while volunteering!  It's proven that most jobs are not filled with candidates who go the traditional route of applying online and hoping someone contacts them for an interview.  Most jobs are filled by referrals and connections.  Volunteering takes the awkwardness out of going to a traditional networking event while still giving a great opportunity to connect with others who also love giving back.

2.  Learning Experience/Skill Improvement Whether you are out of work or currently employed begin volunteering to learn new skills.  The new skills could either contribute to your current role or put to good use for a new position you wish to take.  It's a great way to add experience to your resume when you are trying to jump into a different industry.  For example, if you wish to hop into the world of teaching, consider picking up a volunteer position to mentor or tutor.

3.  Fulfilling and Time Consuming Last but not least, why not volunteer and make your heart full when you have some down time?  Let's be honest.  Looking for employment can be a lonely and unhappy experience sometimes.  The job search process can take up to 3 months and volunteering will help to feel the void of no longer being busy during the day.  

Regardless of your employment status get out there and start volunteering today!  It has so many benefits for those you are helping and also has great benefits for your career.  My next step is to find one volunteer organization to work with and stick to it for all of the reasons I mentioned above!

See you at the top, The Young Professionalist


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