Volunteering can be mutually beneficial
By Jane Smith
Volunteering is an ideal civic service for giving back to your local community. It’s all about checking out your local community center or religious institution, rolling up your sleeves, and getting to work on tasks that can really make a difference to those who live in your city or town.
Building projects, helping the homeless, local event planning and donations are just some of the things that a citizen can do as a volunteer — each one integral activities to growing a community.
Volunteering is a great act in itself, but it can be especially helpful for those who are out of work and looking for new employment. Volunteering can yield unexpected rewards for the unemployed, and yet it’s a civic service that often goes unnoticed among the majority of citizens of any given community. I’d like to change that trend by offering a case for volunteering while unemployed. Hear me out.
Networking with community members
Volunteering provides a great atmosphere for meeting people who are engaged with the local community. Fellow volunteers come from all walks of life; among them, you’ll surely meet office employees, business owners, retirees and college students. With such a diverse group of people working alongside you, you’d be remiss to pass up the opportunity to network with a few of them. Heck, one of them might even have the connections to land you a job.
Imagine this scenario: you work at a community center organizing food donations with a retired accountant. After a while, the two of you get to know each other and you mention to him that you’re currently unemployed. The accountant, seeing your work ethic and zeal for civic service, clues you in on a job opportunity from one of his friends who’s looking to hire a new employee.
It’s not so farfetched that such a situation would occur!
An admirable resume decoration
Even if job prospects don’t surface during your stint in volunteering (and don’t expect them to), the service can still benefit you down the line. On your resume or in a cover letter to potential employers, you can mention that you spent time volunteering during unemployment. That kind of commitment to civic service shows employers that you’re a dedicated person with a real sense of community.
Volunteering shows that you chose to spend some time helping others during a time when it’s hard not to think about yourself. And it just looks better to put some volunteering experience in placed of the blank space that reads “unemployed.”
A valuable use of free time
If anything, volunteering is a great way to spend your free time. Volunteering can be a fulfilling experience, especially when you feel burnt out after sending countless resumes and inquiries to potential employers. It’s an activity that reminds you about the power of charity and kindness, about how the simple acts of a few selfless people can influence countless members in a community. That kind of perspective can be nourishing when you’re unemployed, an experience that is usually so fraught with pessimism and despair.
To volunteer is to remind yourself that you’re part of a community; it’s a reminder that you still have something to give back.
With a history in personal data analysis, freelance writer Jane Smith’s posts offer an inside look at the world of free background checks. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org for more information.