How Serving Your Community Could Lead to Future Careers

By just reading the title, you’re probably wondering how picking up cans on the side of the highway can help lead to your next big career break. Despite what you may think, there is a direct correlation between these two topics. Last year, over 62 million people decided to volunteer within their communities. Taking the initiative within your community can help benefit you in finding a career in several ways.

  1. When you volunteer, it makes you feel needed. When we think “volunteering”, we typically think about how our own work can help others. Contrary to popular belief, volunteering can actually have a more direct benefit on you, rather than the person that you are helping. It opens your eyes to see what a great impact you can have within your community when you work hard at something. It can also make you feel productive, which is a great feeling to have if you are out of work.
  2. Volunteering helps you grow your network. Obtaining a new job can easily be compared to a chain reaction. Certain things have to fall into place in order for you to land an interview, and volunteering is a perfect place to start. When you go somewhere to volunteer, you expand your horizons and it gives you the ability to create new connections, and having connections means everything in the business world. These newfound relationships can lead to even greater opportunities, and great success within your future. The chain reaction that starts with volunteering can be described as this: volunteering leads to networking, networking leads to connections, and connections leads to careers. In the end, a simple day spent at a shelter could really take you a long way.

Before jumping right into volunteering, you may want to consider a couple of things:

  1. Choose something you care about. Whether it is the animal or homeless shelter, pick something you are passionate about. If you pick the right thing, volunteering there won’t even seem like work.
  2. Treat your opportunity as if it is a paid job. Even though you are not getting paid for your work, you should still display professionalism, respect, and make a serious commitment to whoever you decide to volunteer for.
  3. Share your knowledge. Use the talents that you have obtained in previous work environments to help better the place that you have selected.

Albert Schwitzer once said: “Wherever a man turns, he can find someone who needs him.” Find someone who needs you, whether your called to work at a homeless shelter, visit a nursing home, or even volunteer/attend Agile’s nonprofit Agile on the Green, I hope your eyes have been opened to the greater possibilities that come from volunteering within your community.

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