Getting a job is all about who you know, so get to know as many people as possible through “Volunteer Style Networking”. Many people do not like volunteering or networking, however they work well if you do them together.
Volunteering is networking and connecting, and is actually a way to get a job without having to experience the pain of applying, interviewing, waiting and waiting and doubting. Many people volunteer and before they know it they are offered a job, whether they want it or not. This has even happened to me!
I volunteered for one summer at the library and got offered work for 2 years after school. Plus they gave me $50 at the end of the summer. Next I volunteered at YMCA childcare facility and got offered work as a childcare worker – this one I turned down. I also volunteered in my sister’s classroom, was offered the job after applying for a posted position without an interview. The interview consisted of me signing my employment contract – surprise surprise!!
In a recent example, I know someone who wanted to break into event planning, they accepted a 10 hour/week position and offered to volunteer for other associated organizations. They were then offered another job for more hours and higher pay. They kept both jobs!! Plus they are smiling and enjoying their work.
Another person, volunteered for 1 morning a week for 3 weeks and was offered a full time office job through contacts.
When I polled my LinkedIn connections about this topic… this is what I heard back:
“I volunteered my time coordinating the mentoring program for the Barrie Chapter for two years… This expanded my skill sets and now through my own business, I built and now deliver a mentoring program for Youth Entrepreneurs in the Starter Company program. This mentoring program is being used in Small Business Enterprise Centres in the Simcoe Muskoka Region.”
“We hired a person a while back on a 12 month contract basis that joined our Rotary Club given his commitment to volunteerism and his skill in the field we required at that time. Worked out well.”
“I have hired Georgian students who had volunteered with me for their work placement as part of their post grad program. And a long, long time ago I got my start in HR by volunteering with the health and safety committee at my part time job. That led to volunteering to improve their hiring process. Those experiences definitely helped kick start my career.”
Volunteering in your community gets you out of your house meeting people, gives you an opportunity to learn new skills, make more connections, and provides an opportunity to acquire a current reference. It also gives you unpaid work experience, sometimes free food, fun, t-shirts and most of all a smile on your face. Employers hire people who are smiling team players that step up to the plate when something needs to be done. Volunteering allows you to demonstrate this!
by Jill Galloway, Agilec – Employer Liaison and Guest Blogger