The chase after the job of your dream is restless and competitive. No wonder! The stakes are high but the requisites even higher. You want to daze your future employer with your employability skills, character and who-you-knows but your current work history is not there yet.
Have you stopped for a second to think that there is a simple and social impact friendly way to do it right within your reach? One word: volunteering. Go ahead and read these five very good reasons you should be looking out for volunteering opportunities asap.
1. It always looks good on the résumé
People tend to appreciate others who volunteer and think positively about them, that’s true. After all, you contribute your time to do good for others. However, social contributions aside, employers just really like proactive and experienced people full stop. “Does It Pay to Volunteer?”, a study by the Center for Economic and Policy Research, concluded that unemployed people who volunteered between 20 and 99 hours during the year were roughly 7% more likely to have found employment one year later compared to those who didn’t volunteer at all. Another US government study by Corporation for National and Community Service clearly stated of all the 70,000 jobless people they tracked between 2002 and 2012, those who volunteered had a 27% better chance of finding a job than those who didn’t.
Not to mention volunteering makes you look trustworthy and points out that you are a giving person. When you apply for a job, having a “volunteered at…” section gives your personality a huge plus point, which sometimes may ootweigh the professional experience.
2. You don’t know who you might meet
Maybe the love of your life? No, seriously. During volunteering you get to know new people who volunteer for (perhaps) similar reasons as you. It’s a great way to make new friends and get in touch with people you otherwise would have never had the opportunity to meet. Here at Impact Hub, we have a bunch of amazing volunteers, who found like-minded people and went ahead to set up start-ups together, collaborated or were offered a job opportunity.
When you volunteer in a place which is in your field, you effortlessly create great networking opportunities. You gain access to decision-makers in a non-work environment. You may not get money for your contribution, but contacts are worth their weight in gold. Especially when volunteering in a place relevant to your dream profession. Making a good impression and standing out with solid work ethics might just get you noticed.
4. You test existing/learn new skill set
You might be a Photoshop pro, but unless you have a solid reference and a project in your portfolio, your CV skills section is not as promising to a potential employer. This is why volunteering can become the key testing field for your skills – you will pick up on what you do well and what you have to improve. Not to mention learning a completely new skill set. Quoting after Youth Central, ‘there are eight skills that employers want you to have, no matter what industry you’re working in: communication, teamwork, problem solving, initiative and enterprise, planning and organising, self-management, learning, technology’. Yes, you got it: the majority of them are developed in a work environment. A lot of companies look for volunteers and treat them exactly the same as team members and, let’s be honest, in some places becoming a volunteer is generally much easier than getting a job.
5. A great start when you’re new in town
When moving to a new place it’s not always easy to find your way and meet people. Community gives you strength to persevere but what if you haven’t found it yet? Volunteering gives you the opportunity to “do something” while adjusting to your new location, be needed and appreciated, and in general, it’s the best place to meet your future friends.
Sitting at home won’t get you your dream job but volunteering sure can! If you are interested in becoming a volunteer in Vienna the why not volunteer with us!
Otherwise you can check the websites below: