Five ways volunteering jump starts your career success

Volunteering brings together an array of men, women and children with common interests, nay goals. To help others in need? To fight for what you believe in? To gain knowledge and insight in your field? Whatever your reasons are, it is feasible to assume that volunteering is favourable for your improvement. Yet what volunteering also gives us, which is often unnoticed, is a way to guarantee your chances of success in your future entry-level endeavors. Five ways to be exact!

1. Nice and Positive

Having helped a couple, several or (sometimes even) hordes of people from your various volunteer positions, you have become well acquainted with people appreciating your help. In turn you have become appreciative of other people.

Being nice to people has always been regarded as a career boosting asset. How you treat other people says more about you than your perfectly-worded, font size eleven resume could ever show. From volunteering you develop a positive attitude among people you work with, people in the streets (both literally and metaphorically) and people that are there to guide you along your career.

2. Skills

From my own experience, talents gained from volunteering comes a long way from just being a transferable skill on your resume. Skills dictate how you act in your entry-level career. When you have learned the right thing to do, you tend to follow the same route regularly. Ethics is the car that drives along this route; with the correct guidance from your skills gained by volunteering you cover more distance.

3. Experience

Experience carries on from skills. With experience, you have traveled down the road using your skills you have learned from volunteering and applying them to your role. This carries greater value than just being a buffer for your resume. Experience is when skills from observation meet practical situations. You hone your skills through experiences from volunteering which, when applied to your entry-level career, make you shine.

4. Network

Aside from the references you could obtain, and which are germane to the topic of careers, volunteering also offers other networking opportunities. Volunteering can open doors for the individual to help out in their field or open options for the individual to learn what really matters for them and, what makes them jolt up with excitement. We learn about ourselves when we volunteer. We network with ourselves and find out what matters to us.

5. Here and Now

The fact that you are volunteering shows that you are primed to enter the workforce running. Reasons? You, as a volunteer, have shown that you are ready to serve others and in turn serve your workplace when you enter it.

Being present and ready is always a good habit to jump start your career regardless of whether you are already in the midst of developing your career or just starting out as an intern. Do not procrastinate. Volunteer now! Many options are available from the city of Burnaby as well as right here at SFU Volunteer Services.

By Chris Ng