There are several factors to take into account – aside from the pay package – when considering whether or not to take up a job. But lots of people underestimate the power of volunteer experience.

Plus, most people who need to volunteer do not do so.

Among the most common reasons for not participating in charity work is lack of money or time. Though volunteering work has many advantages that most people don’t know about.

Let’s have a look at what giving back involves, what are the benefits of volunteering, and what companies give their employees time off to make the world a better palace.

Understanding the Value of Volunteering

At least 63 million Americans volunteer approximately eight billion hours of their talent, effort and time to improving peoples’ lives and the world in general.

These hours dedicated to giving back contribute about 193 billion dollars to the American economy.

Currently, volunteers are worth an estimated $24.14 per hour. On top of this wage, almost half of the volunteers in the US cite improved fitness and health from working as volunteers.

Therefore, volunteering benefits, not just the community but the volunteer too. Participation in charity or community work is a chance for you to be a part of an initiative that you genuinely care about.

Despite these benefits, most working Americans do not understand the impact of their volunteering contributions.

According to a 2017 Deloitte volunteerism survey, 75% of working Millennials in America said they would dedicate more time to volunteering if they better understood their impact.

However, volunteering can help you gain skills that are vital for launching your career or taking it to the next level.

Voluntary Work May Boost Your Career Prospective and Growth

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Though hiring managers look for volunteering experience in job candidates resumes, very few job seekers actually have it.

If you wish to volunteer, look for opportunities that are in line with your goals. Good areas to volunteer include teaching, tutoring, events, mentoring, and marketing.

But why is this experience important to your career? Here are some benefits volunteering can have on your career growth and development:

Gives You an Opportunity to Gain Soft Skills

Soft skills are personal attributes that enable people to work with others, achieve their goals and perform well.

These skills are on demand across all industries and usually complement hard skills.

Volunteering helps you acquire soft skills like:

Leadership

Volunteers are often assigned responsibilities that help to build strong leadership skills. These skills are essential in many- if not all- work environments.

Communication

Volunteering involves frequent collaboration with people in the community and workmates.

Therefore, it is a great way to build on verbal communication skills that you will need on, for instance, a job interview.

Cooperation

Collaboration when working in a team is one those attributes that every employer looks for in a job candidate.

And what a better way to show team working than having experience in a volunteer role?

Problem-Solving

Demonstrating your ability to solve problems is an excellent way to enrich your resume.

Volunteering involves handling a lot of tasks and people, and in most cases, challenges are likely to arise. You must learn how to solve them effectively.  

Motivation and Self-Confidence

Volunteering can help you build self-confidence and develop self-motivation especially if you have been looking for a job with no success.

Voluntary roles will help you stay productive while you discover your potential.

Boosts Your Work Experience on Your Resume

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If you are right from college/ school, there isn’t much to put on the work history section of your resume apart from some internship experience.

Having volunteering experience makes looking for a job easier.

Expands Your Network and Connections

Volunteering helps you meet, connect and establish relationships with new people.

Networking is especially important in job seeking whether you are looking for a first job or switching jobs.

Gets You Experience in a New Field

Do you want to get a working experience in a new industry? Volunteering helps you to explore various sectors and occupations.

You can test different areas and ways to volunteer to find out where your interests lie. Plus, you can take up voluntary roles to fill employment gaps between job transitions.

Makes You More Flexible and Adaptable

As a volunteer, you will handle different responsibilities. These tasks prepare you to become more adaptable and open-minded for future career roles.

Grows Your Creative Thinking and Organizational abilities

Develop organizational skills and innovation through charity work.

Volunteering gives you an opportunity to apply your creativity to performing different tasks.

Top Companies with Good CSR

Volunteering is not just for job seekers. You can volunteer as a full-time employee, and you do not even need to use personal free time to do so.

Several employers give paid time off for volunteering to their employees.

For these companies, charity work is part of their corporate social responsibility activities.

Here are five establishments that show good examples of corporate social responsibility:

Bank of America

It is one of the top financial companies globally. BofA is among those businesses giving back to the community in many ways including donating books to the community.

Accenture

Among the most renowned consulting firms, Accenture gives three corporate employees volunteer days plus other employment benefits.

Payline Data, LLC

Payline data, a mobile digital payments and e-commerce solutions company, has community time-off where their employees participate in community projects and events.

IKEA

A Swedish furniture company that supports communities in many parts of the globe including India and Africa.

Nationwide Building Society

This leading UK building institution helps several charities and gives employees two days off each year to volunteer.

Volunteering can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences.

It will help you give back to a cause of your choice, make job hunting more productive and improve your health. So, go ahead and volunteer in your local community!

About The Author

Alice Berg is a career advisor at Skillroads, who received a degree in Social Work and Applied Social Studies. Now she helps people to find their own way in life, gives career advice and guidance, helps young people get prepared for their careers.

Volunteering can be one of the most exciting and rewarding experiences. It will help you give back to a cause of your choice, make job hunting more productive and improve your health. So, go ahead and volunteer in your local community! #volunteer #volunteering #charitywork #givingback