It might seem a little counterintuitive, but working without pay can open doors of opportunity for your career. That’s because employers don’t only care about the skills you bring to the office. They also care about who you are as a person and about the issues and causes that drive you to do your best.
Whether you are entering the workforce for the first time or are a seasoned professional, volunteering can enhance your skill set and allow you to grow your knowledge in new areas. Suppose you decide to serve food at a local soup kitchen once per month. That kind of volunteering might build off of your love of cooking and extend into other areas, such as interacting with men and women who need not only food but also career counseling. Their children might need mentoring to support their success in school.
It’s incredible how the act of volunteering can provide new opportunities to serve and lend a helping hand.
Depending on where you volunteer, you might even encounter the occasional job opening. If a nonprofit has seen how hard you work without any pay, its management team will be much more inclined to hire you to support the continuing needs of the people it serves.
Regardless of where you decide to use your job skills, make a point of applying those talents to volunteering this year. You never know where it might take you.