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The value of volunteering


A quick easy way to build your résumé is through volunteering. It does not matter that you are not getting paid; what matters is that you are learning new skills, strengthening the ones you already possess, and building a network of friends and mentors who can help each other.{{more}}

Even if you have a strong résumé with work experience, companies want to see that you are a well-rounded individual and that you care about other things besides making money. Always make sure that you are actively engaged in a volunteer opportunity throughout your career.

Find an organization that you feel passionate about. Do you light up when helping the homeless? Consider volunteering at a soup kitchen, collecting food or taking part in a clothing drive. Make a commitment and show up. Many nonprofit organizations rely heavily on volunteers to run their programs. When you commit to a schedule, treat it with the same respect you would give a paid position and show up regularly. Call ahead. If you will be late or will need to miss a day, give your volunteer coordinator ample time to find a replacement.

Meet new people. This is the time to meet people in a non-threatening environment. Take the time to get to know your fellow volunteers, and feel free to share your dreams and aspirations.

Stay in touch. Remain in contact in a healthy professional manner with other volunteers as this builds your network.

Do a little extra. Don’t just do what you are asked to do; look for ways you can give even more. As always, bring a great attitude. Volunteers are supposed to be a positive addition to organizations that need help. Make sure you are pleasant and easy to work with.

Respect the rules. Depending on where you volunteer, there may be duties you cannot perform. Follow all the safety procedures and guidelines. They are for your protection and that of the organization.

Be humble. You are not better than anyone else because you volunteer. You will probably soon learn that you benefit more when you share your time and expertise with others.

Karen Hinds is “The Workplace Success Expert.” For a FREE SPECIAL REPORT on Avoiding Career Killers in the Workplace, send an email to [email protected]
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