Everyone knows that volunteering is meant to improve and support our community by giving our time and energy to nonprofit agencies that provide much needed services. However, that’s not where the benefits stop!
Volunteering is very beneficial to the volunteer:
Gain Experience: working in the field or a position that has transferable skills will help you become more experienced when you are looking for that job.
Resume Building: add volunteering to your resume. Businesses, either for or not for profit, want to see you that you’ve been busy, so show them how you took the initiative to volunteer at a local nonprofit and be specific of what you did. Being the leader or creating a new and helpful tool will prove to the potential employer that you are an asset to their organization.
Gain New Skills: work experience is invaluable; there are some things you can’t learn in school. So by volunteering, you are in a new environment, observing people in their jobs and hopefully you are given tasks that challenge you. If not, ask!
Try It On: try something you are interested in. This way, if you don’t like it, you’ll know before you take classes or apply for the job and then realize it’s not what you want to do as a career.
Meet People: not only do you get to gain experience, but you meet people who can be a potential reference when your job hunting if you made the right impression, or they may recommend a place to apply. Let them know you are looking and ask for them to be on your list of references, after you’ve shown them what you can do!
Potential Job: This may lead to a job. Nonprofits make up a large percentage of organizations in Sonoma County, and therefore many jobs are found there. Prove what you can do, and they may find funding to keep you.
Job Hunting 101-See every step as a practice for when you job hunt. From the initial conversation on the phone when you introduce yourself, to the showing up on the scheduled time to volunteer, this is like a job and a good time to practice how you present yourself and are seen. Take it all as a learning opportunity.
Thinking of College?: College applications ask for community service. But since it’s getting more competitive, not only do you show your volunteer time, but you need to stand out by taking a leadership role or again, creating something new that addresses a need in the community.
Feel Great About Making A Difference!: Lastly, but more importantly, volunteering leads you to find the joy of serving others and helping to improve our local community. Make a difference, meet people, gain new skills, and add a whole new experience awaits you-Volunteer!