Job Search: VOLUNTEER!

On Monday I wrote about volunteering in the job search.  It’s fresh on my mind because I had just come back from a four hour volunteer assignment where I helped a facility bottle soap for those who need some financial help.  It’s an organization that helps with food and other things (like soap, clothes, etc.), and I’ve volunteered in various capacities, from canning dry foods (sugar, oats, etc.) to wet stuff (canned chili), and now soap.

I listed four reasons why we should volunteer… here’s my report back:

  1. Good for networking? YES.  I met two other volunteers who I want to pursue a professional relationship with.  Turns out, we are kind of neighbors. Both are established professionals, are very nice, and I think would help me with introductions to their networks (both are well-connected).
  2. Good to keep my skills sharp? In this situation, at first glance, not really.  We bottled soap, so my first shift was putting caps on bottles as they went by me on an assembly line.  The next shift was filling bottles before someone else put caps on. But, during the four hours I was there, I honed my verbal communication skills as I talked to the people I worked with.  It was a lot of fun, and yes, good to keep my skills sharp (as opposed to just sitting in front of a computer all day).
  3. Good to get out? YES.  I normally don’t get dressed and ready to be in front of people until around lunch, but Monday I was up, ready and out the door by 7am.  Nothing wrong with that 🙂
  4. Good karma. Of course, down the road 🙂  I feel good about myself for helping others, so maybe that’s all the good karma I’ll get.  But maybe I’ll get more.  Either way, it’s all good.

I mentioned on Monday that I didn’t have luck finding volunteer opportunities in my job search, but they are out there!  Don’t give up, and don’t disregard an opportunity because you think it isn’t fun (like, cleaning out dog pens at an animal shelter).

Good luck!

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