This is a Valentine’s Day call to action to love your community and help your career.
If you volunteer with a nonprofit and haven’t enabled the Volunteer Experience & Causes category on your LinkedIn profile, I hope after reading 10 reasons why volunteering is a great career move you will be ultra motivated to do it!
If you’re actively pursuing the next big opportunity because of one of the big three ‘uns’ – unemployed, underemployed or unhappily employed, you may feel that you do not have time to volunteer because you are on a 24/7 job hunt. I don’t really buy it, the old ‘looking for a full-time job is a full-time job’ generally lasts a relatively short time for most people – like a week. If this is the way you feel or it reflects the strategy you use, my guess is you likely have an anxiety disorder it would be prudent to dedicate some of that time to, or you haven’t read The 10 Step Strategic Job Search Plan.
If you are a passive candidate – not looking, but open to considering opportunities that might land in your lap, you might be comfy with your job and not think much about a next move. Maybe you don’t think there will ever be one. Maybe you have pie in the sky ambition to retire from your current employment. Maybe you will, and maybe you are just dreaming you will and the company will offshore, relocate to North Carolina (trending), or go bankrupt and close down – and you will be left devastated, in shock and unprepared. In the meantime, you have a routine of work, bowling, partying…… lather, rinse and repeat. Why look to make more work for yourself volunteering when you can just throw some money in the Christmas kettle or send a tax deductible charitable donation once a year? If this is you my guess is you are a fairly miserable being just going through the motions to get by in life.
Whether you are an active or passive candidate, here are 10 reasons volunteering is a great career move.
- Volunteering instantly broadens your professional networking opportunities – meetings and events galore to bump, hand out contact cards and use your elevator pitch on distinguished board members and supporters.
- Doing good makes you feel good – bathe your brain in self-induced natural drugs like serotonin – hello happy hormones =)
- It’s a chance to prove you can take on more responsibility – cash strapped nonprofits are often willing to let volunteers take on all they can chew – a total coup de main for your career!
- Helps to or outright eliminates gaps in your work history – volunteer work counts and is respected, the compensation is just in a different form, like hugs, smiles, and satisfaction.
- Develop or perfect skills they don’t let you use at work (or that you haven’t used in a long time) in a professional environment – your résumé will love you..
- Make a direct contribution to help improve the overall well-being of individuals / community/ state / country / continent / hemisphere / world – winning!
- Volunteerism is a great chance to move out of your comfort zone – and that’s where a lot of personal and professional growth occurs.
- Try on a new career – If you have ever considered the switch from corporate to nonprofit this is the perfect no/low risk way to check it out.
- Transition to a new career – If you are going from apples to oranges and can’t get a bite with your current experience, volunteer experience in the occupation of your choice could be just the ticket to your transition!
- Seek a board appointment with a nonprofit whose cause you are passionate about – especially if you are in the market for job at a socially conscientious company, commitment to social good is karma that will shine on you in the interview.
I look forward to hearing how volunteering has made a positive impact on your career!
P.S. Happy Valentine’s Day <3