Benefits Of Volunteering: 4 Ways It Prepares You For A New Career

June 24th, 2016 / By triOS College

There are many benefits of volunteering — it’s a way of giving back to the community and increasing your work skills and personal growth. According to Volunteer Canada, 12.7 million Canadians contribute close to 2 billion volunteering hours each year. Here what volunteering can help you do for your career:

1. DEMONSTRATE YOUR AMBITION

Volunteering provides a good chance for you to display initiative. Most organizations are looking for people with ideas that can help them function more efficiently. If you can come up with something during your volunteering duties that a group likes and adopts, it is an excellent thing to talk about in job interviews.

2. DISPLAY YOUR CHARACTER

An impressive résumé will always help to open doors, but employers look for more than that. A candidate also needs to be a team player, demonstrate punctuality, and show dedication in all of the areas where they participate. Excelling in a volunteering role demonstrates to potential employers that you not only have the ability to do this but have done so admirably.

3. EXPAND YOUR NETWORK

One of the key ways to succeed at networking is to get out there and meet people. Volunteering for a group related to what you would like to do helps you gain some valuable contacts.

4. INCREASE YOUR SELF-CONFIDENCE AND COMMUNICATION SKILLS

The more experience you gain at something, the more confident you become when performing that role. While volunteering might not have all of the duties you might experience from a paid position, it still provides chances for you to excel.
You will deal with both the organization and the people it serves, a set-up that mimics a typical workplace where you interact with supervisors, fellow employees, and clients or the public. Learning the best way to communicate with these different groups gives you a leg up on candidates who don’t have this skill and must learn as they go.

NOW I KNOW THE BENEFITS OF VOLUNTEERING. HOW DO I VOLUNTEER?

You’re ready to get out there and offer your services, but where to begin? There is Volunteer Canada, and most cities also have volunteer centers where you can easily seek out and learn more about the volunteering opportunities in the area. Use the searchable online database available through their website. These not only list organizations looking for volunteers but also break the roles down into categories.

You can also enter specifics into your search. For example, if you are only available to volunteer on weekends, entering Saturday and Sunday into the search will narrow down the opportunities to just weekend slots. If you have any questions, click on the Contact Us tab on the webpage. Someone at the volunteer center will answer your question or direct you to the appropriate person at the organization where you wish to help.

The more volunteering posts you assume, the more you can benefit. However, start with areas where you have a specific interest. This will be the sort of role where you are most likely to do your best. What you learn here may also be useful in other aspects of life. Any ways in which you can enhance your knowledge and personal growth will prove wonderful benefits to both your work and personal life.

Now that you’ve learned some of the benefits of volunteering in the community, where will you start?

Learn more about career planning by clicking here.