Utilizing Volunteer Work to Achieve Career Goals
Ever wondered how to make your volunteer work count as job experience, or even better, lead to a job? The answer is in April’s job hunting tips!
Use job criteria when picking volunteer work
Just as you would when looking for a paying job, do your research! Making a list of the specific tasks and goals you hope to accomplish is helpful when searching for organizations that will give you a leg up in exactly what you hope to do in the future. Once you have landed the volunteer gig, make sure to have it listed on your resume so employers know you’ve been honing your skillset and actively working towards career goals, rather than having the appearance you haven’t been doing anything while applying for the next job. Many employers will consider volunteering as serious job experience.
Stay in touch
Networking is one of the most helpful ways to get a job. Always make sure you’re checking in with your fellow volunteers, whether that be grabbing coffee or simply asking about important things going on in their lives. Even after your volunteer position is up, keep in touch through social media. You never know the opportunities you might be able to have simply by having a connection that thinks highly of you. In particular, make sure to establish a good relationship with any high-ranking people of the non-profit organization you may be working for. A good word from an important and respected person can do wonders in your desired field.
Do your best
It should go without saying that whatever you do, do it well. This applies even when you’re not being paid for your work. Just like at a job, listen and absorb as much as possible. Try to integrate yourself so that you’re getting the most out of your volunteering. You’ll wind up with a plethora of transferable skills you can apply to your next job, no matter how different it may be.
Employee vs volunteer
There are three factors that can help you determine whether your volunteer work is more of a job than you realize. Volunteers generally do not participate in the sale of that particular organization’s commerce. Also, volunteers generally do not receive monetary compensation. If you are, even if it’s below minimum wage, you’d be more considered as an employee. Finally, employees have a stricter, more controlled schedule than volunteers. Keep these ideas in mind; however, they are not the final word on the difference between employees and volunteers but rather suggestions.