Getting involved in worthy causes is widely recognised as a good thing for any job seeker, strengthening their position when it comes to beginning their career. One of the key positive results of volunteering is that you can build career contacts.
There are a number of reasons why volunteering is a good idea. In addition to gaining valuable practical experience and showing a genuine interest in the world around you, it is hard for prospective employers to not see you in a positive light.
Volunteering also provides you with a great opportunity to meet and work with people that you might never meet otherwise. Whether you are starting out on your career path or simply looking for further opportunities, this can be important in two specific ways.
Fellow Volunteers Get to Know You
The fact that you are working alongside people on a community project means that they are working alongside you, and can see your skills firsthand. Some of your fellow volunteers may be employed by large or small businesses, or may even be business owners. This means that they will already know you should you ever apply for a job at the same company.
Even if you never apply for a job at their companies, these individuals know what you can do. This may drop your name if their friends are looking for some new staff and you fit the profile.
You Learn From Them
Working with others exposes you to new ways of doing things, allowing you learn how to get things done more efficiently. While such practical benefits are welcome, you can also learn about the job market and even who’s who in the particular sector in which you are interested.
The camaraderie that forms between volunteers means sharing business knowledge and contacts tends to happen organically, with older and more experienced volunteers usually more than willing to advise on career paths.
Of course, the number one motivation behind your volunteer work is the benefit that it will have for the community in general, whether it is a neighborhood street clean, a homeless assistance project or part of a national campaign to inform the public of the value of healthy living.
Don’t underestimate the strength of the relationships that are formed through volunteering, with new life-long friendships often forged.
The additional bonus is that you will meet and work with like-minded individuals who will see first hand what you can do.