Volunteering – Great Way to Increase Your Work Experience!

We’ve talked about Volunteering in the past and how great it is for Networking in our post Overlooked Networking Opportunity – Volunteering!  But what about for the great experience it can give you?  The amount that you can learn is phenomenal, and often you don’t have to pay a thing for it, in some cases even they pay for you to increase your experience.

No matter what industry you’re in there’s probably an opportunity to volunteer – or if you don’t want it to relate to work then volunteer in a way that lines up with one of your hobbies.  For example, one of the services that we offer through our Technical Director, Adam, is Audio Visual Services for different uses and in the summer we’re involved with Creation Festivals.  At Creation Fest Adam helps with the Stage Building, Stage Crew, and many other things related to the production end of the festival.  EXCELLENT experience and we don’t have to pay for it, they want volunteers to help out – almost all of the festival is run by volunteer staff actually.  That’s a work related example, but if you’d rather leave work at work then why not get involved with a local sports team as a coach?  Or see if you can help out a local arts organization?  The opportunities are endless!

Now the on-the-job experience you gain is one thing, but what about if you need different certifications for a job you’re trying to get?  Or even just something you want to have personally.  I’ve talked with many people that are part of different volunteer organizations, such as different volunteer fire departments in some US cities, or other organizations needing specific training and there are many organizations that will pay for your training if you’re an active volunteer.  So not only are you already gaining great experience just volunteering for them, but they help you keep your different certifications up to date, or send you on specific training, etc.  Or it could even simply be getting you to use a new piece of software that you haven’t had the opportunity or excuse to before and giving you work experience with that.  The amount that you can learn is amazing.

So the next time you find yourself sitting on the couch yet again watching another prime time television show, why not check out and see how you could get involved with your community?  You never know what you could find!

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This entry was posted by Anna Kouwenberg on Tuesday, July 31st, 2012 at 3:45 pm and is filed under Networking. You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed.