Volunteer Experience is Underrated

Volunteer Experience is Underrated

By: Rebekah Abebe
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Volunteering is underrated because in contrast with work experience, volunteering can look like a less valuable option. With volunteering you are not paid, so you may think that you are not getting as much back. Although work experience is essential, volunteering can be just as educational and helpful.

Volunteering is a preparatory experience before work experience. You will be accustomed to arriving on time to events and finishing assignments on time. Through volunteering you can get reference letters which will supplement the lack of connections you may have. If you are an international student hoping to find work in Canada, it is best to find Canadian references and Canadian references will be much easier to attain through volunteering in Canada. If you have no plans to work while attending school (or you are struggling finding work), volunteering is an excellent alternative that enables you to still attain a type of work experience.

If you are aware that you are weak in a particular area such as public speaking, volunteering with a presentation for the organization can help you in practicing skills you may have trouble with so that those skills become less intimidating.  One of my personal favourite things about volunteering is that it can be as short or as long of an experience as you want. Volunteer experience can reveal your personality traits, strengths and weaknesses. You will find tasks that you enjoy and tasks that may not excite you as much. Knowing what your skills are can be a great asset when you search for jobs that match your skills. Ultimately, volunteering is an opportunity that is worth embracing and taking advantage of.

Posted on June 06, 2013