Turn Volunteer Work Into A Paid Job
By The Monster Career Coach
Many people devote a portion of their spare time to helping out a cause that they are interested in supporting. Volunteering gets millions of Canadians involved each year.
But do you know how to turn your volunteer work into paid employment?
There are several ways to leverage the time you donate, and experience you receive, from unpaid work with a not-for-profit or public sector organization. It’s a highly accepted approach to boosting your prospects of finding an actual job, either in the organization you’re contributing to, or in some other place entirely.
How You Benefit From Volunteering
There are three main benefits of doing unpaid volunteer work in terms of your career:
1) You get to learn new skills in a different environment, thereby expanding your range.
2) You get to meet a wide variety of people, which helps with your networking efforts.
3) If you do your volunteer work well, you can secure references for future employment regardless of where you apply.
Note that you can list the accomplishments that you achieve in your volunteer work directly on your resume. On top of this, of course, is the sense of satisfaction that comes with helping out and making a difference.
Treat Your Volunteer Work Like Paid Work
If you make a good impression as a volunteer, doors may open for you that you might not have thought possible. You never know who the people at the organization you’re assisting know. So give it your best shot. Take on extra roles when appropriate. Help others to fulfill their own roles more effectively.
If you would like to get even more out of your volunteering, here are some proven methods:
• Offer to serve on a committee where your labours will be seen, and appreciated, by others. Committees that have a higher profile usually attract some senior people. This will introduce you to some of the involved individuals who may be connected to contacts you’d like to meet.
• Identify key decision makers and try to introduce yourself to them in helpful ways, such as volunteering to assist them on a project they’re involved with.
• Keep your ear to the ground for news of upcoming positions, people planning to leave, etc.
Volunteer Your Way to a Better Job
If you would like to know more about volunteering, or if you’d care to be matched up to a relevant opportunity, you can start your search by visiting a few Canadian websites that list volunteer positions. A directory of provincial volunteer centres can be found on the Volunteer Canada website. And if you like to use social media and make online connections, GetInvolved! is for you.
When it comes to securing paid employment, it’s all about showing the people who might hire you that you have what it takes and are keen to prove it. Volunteer work, especially in a field related to your occupation, is one of the better ways to do so.