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How to Use Volunteerism to Boost Your Career

Sure, volunteering can do some great things for your overall wellbeing. But have you thought about how volunteering can impact other areas of your life? It’s true—there’s much more to volunteering than what meets the eye.

A recent article by Forbes suggests that volunteering provides some pretty great benefits, including a kickstart to your career. Let’s explore the different ways that volunteering can help you succeed in your current career, or as you look for a new opportunity.

Resume Boosting
It’s no secret that a diverse resume has more of an opportunity to help you succeed. The extras are what will set you apart from other job applicants. If 10 people are all qualified for the same position, employers will start to look beyond simply your qualifications for the job. Plus, volunteering is a great way to gain skills that could help qualify you for a job. You might not get those skills at your normal nine to five.

Remember, it’s not a good practice to volunteer simply because you’re boosting your resume. You should find a general connection with the organization you’re helping. However, it is an added perk to be able to learn new skills.

Common Threads
Humans connect when they feel something, and that’s what nonprofits are all about. When you volunteer your time at an organization, it’s because you care about the mission of that nonprofit. People identify with other people who feel the same thing.

When you volunteer, you’ll meet a multitude of new people. Networking is a great way to help you in your career. There’s a saying that it’s not what you know, it’s who you know. Plus, simply talking about an organization might help spark a connection with somebody you didn’t know cared about the same organization. There you have it—a common thread that will instantly give you credibility.

Passion Projects
Sometimes, work isn’t as fulfilling as we’d like it to be, and that’s okay. That’s where volunteering can come in to fill a void in our lives. Sometimes, what starts out as a passion project can actually turn into a career. When you start to do the things that you love, you find that time passes quickly and you put a ton of hours into it without minding.

If you’re finding volunteering more fulfilling than your other work and want to make it a full time gig, talk to the organization to see if there are options to make your passion project a life calling.

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