Here at Idealist, we’re big proponents of getting as much as possible out of a volunteer assignment.
There are plenty of ways volunteering can be a two-way street and we encourage our community of social-impact professionals to not only contribute their time, passion, and skills to causes that resonate, but to look for ways that the experience can benefit them, too!
Here are just a few of the ways that you may benefit from volunteer work:
Expand your network by connecting with new people
Direct service volunteerism can be, in some regards, the great equalizer. You never know who you’ll find beside you when you’re guiding a group of eager seniors in a craft project or monitoring the silent auction tables at a big event. It could be your future employee, colleague, or boss, so don’t miss the opportunity to be friendly and professional.
Fill gaps on your resume
Whether you’re missing specific experience, or you’re currently unemployed, volunteering can fill some critical gaps on your resume. Need a few more successes on your resume before you talk to your boss about that promotion? Look for an organization that needs help in your area of expertise, or apply to be a pro-bono professional with an organization like Taproot or Catchafire.
Discover a new talent
If you’re willing to choose a wild card rather than volunteer for a cause with which you’re already familiar, you may just uncover an interest that you never knew you had. And, who knows where it could lead.
Question of the week: Have you ever had a volunteer assignment that turned into a paid job?
Of course, there are tons of ways to find value as well as personal and professional fulfillment in volunteer work, but this week, we have one question for you: Have you ever had a volunteer assignment that lead to paid work?
What was the trajectory of the relationship or assignment that led to the paid work?
Share your story and let us know:
- What was the trajectory of the relationship or assignment that led to the paid work?
- How did you discover the volunteer opportunity in the first place?
- Was the paid job with that same organization that you were volunteering with, or was some
other connection made?
Never been there but trying to figure out how? Share your questions on maximizing the benefits and impacts of your volunteer work, here.