Quite a lot of students are committing the mistake of underestimating the importance of volunteer experience for their professional careers. Many students believe that their time is too precious to give it for “free”. Others believe that their time could be better spent to find a new paid job. Yet, volunteering never comes without benefits.
In fact, volunteer experience will get you exactly what you’re hoping for: a well-paid first job. I know, I know, I might sound like the fortuneteller who promises amazing things that are rarely going to become reality.
But, when we take a look at the benefits a volunteering job can provide, we could certainly agree that getting an amazing first job is much more possible as long as you agree to volunteer. Let us take a close look at the main benefits that you’ll get after pursuing volunteering opportunities:
You Develop Professional Skills
Every volunteer experience is surely bringing something new in your life. More than often, that “thing” will be a new skill, a new experience, or a newly discovered talent. These skills and experiences that you’re building will count more than you could ever think. As wise people say: “everything happens for a reason”.
Therefore, you need to have faith that everything you’re doing is exactly what you should be doing. The skills and traits that you develop are going to shine the moment you find your dream job. So, even if you’re not earning money or fame, you’re doing two important things at once. You contribute to the community all while you’re improving your professional traits.
You Get the Chance to Meet Your Next Employer
Volunteering opportunities come with different sorts of benefits. The first advantage of being a volunteer comes with the big number of individuals that you’re about to meet. Some of them could be less professional than you, while some could be your next employers.
Michael Mark, HR manager at Resumes Planet, suggests:
“No matter what persons you’ll meet, remember that every relationship could be potentially valuable in the future. You don’t know who you’re coming across. What I can assure you is that most of your relationships that you’ve grown under volunteering circumstances should serve you positively and never negatively.”
You Show Dedication and Initiative
As you know, not everyone believes that volunteer experience is “worth their time”. Trust me. Employers don’t appreciate that. Most probably, they have already volunteered throughout their lives, and probably most of them find it relevant.
If your resume and cover letters incorporate your volunteering experience, you’ll show off good signs of involvement, initiative, and dedication. Believe it or not, these are critical traits that most employers look for nowadays.
You Are Enriching Your Resume
Of course, let’s not forget about your resume. A rich resume can only suggest that you’re an active individual. You took the time to test more things in life, and some of those things hadn’t had a reward. This can prove that you’re not just looking for the money, but you’re also assessing different aspects that matter such as contributing to society and to the greater good.
The More You Give the More You’ll Receive
This is a universal law that no one can escape from. The more you give to others the more you’ll receive back. Volunteering is all about contributing to society and to those in need. Even though there are no “ground rules” for this law, you are still actively benefiting from everything you provide.
In other words, karma will show up sooner than you think. When you volunteer and you do it because you want to help, you’re giving yourself all the reasons to feel optimistic about your future. You can have faith that everything will turn out to be fine, and that’s a very useful thought to have throughout your professional career.
It Can Help You Figure It Out
You can volunteer more than once. Once you enjoy the first experience, you’ll start to get used to contributing. Actually, the need to contribute to the greater good is one of the main basic human needs. If you think about it, volunteering can open your eyes and make you a wiser person.
How? Well, firstly, you become aware that your focus in life should never be about materialistic gains, such as money, assets, or fame. Secondly, you can experience more activities. Each volunteering experience is a goldmine in terms of personal improvement.
It will help you discover your hidden traits, skills, and talents. With a little bit of luck, you might just discover your purpose too. I’m talking about the higher purpose – something that a very few select possess.
If my arguments haven’t convinced you, I’d highly suggest you try doing it at least once. Block your previous beliefs that are making you passive and build the courage and will to give volunteering a chance. I promise you won’t regret it.
Ten years from now, you’ll be truly grateful that you’ve made this first step because this specific step will improve your chances of landing much better jobs in the nearest future.
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