Monday, November 14, 2011

No job? Volunteer!

Every time I hear a story on NPR about the economy and those without jobs, I want to climb through the radio and yell volunteer!  Now I know it sucks not to be bringing in money - and the instinct is to spend all of the time job hunting.  And as someone who has never lost a job I feel like I am totally back seat driving, but I just have to say out load somewhere - so I guess it is here - what I think the advantages to volunteering when out of work are, they are as follows ...
  • If I was interviewing potential employees, the one that was volunteering would stand out big time!
  • Jobs often come from relationships with people who you get to know ... all of the people who you come in contact through your volunteering will know that you are looking for a job ... and they will have there eyes peeled because they will believe in you (because you are volunteering).  And they will be able to talk about you because they will have the story to tell about your volunteering!  That is a lot more assistance than everyone who is just putting in job applications is getting.
  • It is hard not to get depressed looking for work ... but if I was spending x amount of time looking for work and the rest of my time being productive as a volunteer, then I would stay in a pretty positive state of mind from working and helping other people.
I realize that the instinct is that the most direct way to get a job is to look for work.  I think the most direct way to get a job is to impress the most people who want to help you get work.  And you don't know who knows who ... the grandma of the biggest firm in town could be your favorite fellow volunteer ...

You can follow your passion for who you want to help, or experiment with different volunteer environments to learn about yourself (like teaching your trade to others, when you have never taught), or you could go totally analytical and volunteer doing basically what you want to do when you are hired.  Regardless, there is a wonderful energy in keeping busy and productive. 

I really hope this idea is a help to someone :)

1 comment:

  1. Thank You for a wonderful post. It just so happens that I'm looking for employment while my business takes on momentum.