Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities can teach you new skills and help you build upon skills you already have.
Volunteering and your job application
Employers who compare graduating seniors as job candidates expect you to have experience outside the classroom. By volunteering you not only help others but you gain valuable life experience and skills as well as showcase your maturity and willingness to partake in new ventures. Freshman year is not too early to start, look for volunteer work that will be a stepping stone to something more competitive later.
Choosing the right career
Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment. It is a great way to gain experience in a new fields and can give an indication of the kind of work you’re interested in and that you would be good at. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organisations or internships that could be of benefit to your career in the short- and long-term future.
Volunteering increases your social and relationship skills
While some people are naturally outgoing, others are shy and have a hard time meeting new people. Volunteering gives you the opportunity to practice and develop your social skills, while meeting regularly with a group of people with common interests and social goals. Once you have momentum, it’s easier to branch out and make more friends and contacts for the future.
Volunteering and your career
Studies have shown that volunteering strengthens communities, is good for your health and can even help you in your job applications. Doing something related to a cause you truly care about, that fits into your busy schedule, and that can make the best use of your talents can maybe even give you the opportunity to bolster your professional reputation, whether in your search for a new job or in your current employment.