Volunteering to Benefit Cystic Fibrosis
Why Volunteers Get All the Breaks
Volunteering has many benefits on its own. But volunteering when you are unemployed has 3 great added incentives: raising self esteem, networking, and learning new job skills.
Raising Self Esteem
Face it, being laid off or fired is damaging to the ego. Rejection, no matter what the reason, is difficult to accept gracefully. But nonprofit organizations value volunteers, especially in recent years. As more families have to work longer hours and multiple jobs to maintain a steady income, people have experienced less free time. So, volunteers have been scarce for nonprofits; scarcity raises the value of any asset – especially volunteers. Help out at the nonprofit of your choice and you will be welcomed and loved. Any tasks you do while volunteering will be significant because you will be helping to make the world a better place. Volunteering is a great way to stave off the depression of unemployment … people around you will appreciate you and what you do will be important.
Finding a great job these days is all about who you know and the staff at nonprofits know a lot of key people. They have to keep up with who’s who in the community in order to raise funds. Impress the staff by consistently being a great volunteer and let them know you are looking for a job. Once they get to know you, they may give you some leads, be a great reference on your resume, or even hire you for their organization if an opening arises.
While you are volunteering you will probably be working with many other volunteers. Tell them you are looking for a job – your chances of getting a great job increase with more people you have looking out for you. Many of the volunteers you will be working with are retired, but have strong connections within the community. Do an outstanding job as a volunteer and you never know who might say what to whom. One good word about you from the right person can open doors. These volunteers may also get to know you well enough that they would be willing to be another reference for your resume.
Learning New Job Skills
Nonprofits provide training for volunteers, especially those who are committed long term. While they are not going to pay for you to take a class about how to use computers, the staff will show you how to do the one task they need done. These extra skills can be added to the list of what you have experience doing on your job application. For example: most nonprofits need help preparing mailings and newsletters. This is more than just stuffing envelopes … someone has to have the computer skills to print the labels in order by zip code, the organizational skills to coordinate times and tasks for volunteers, the administrative skills to have all the needed supplies ready at the right time, and the ability to fill out the post office forms correctly. So, that one job – getting out a mailing or newsletter has multiple opportunities for you to beef up the resume! Nonprofits usually have many, many more jobs they are just waiting for a volunteer to do. Many of these tasks take less than 10 minutes to teach you how to do it. Some examples are: phone calls with surveys, organizing photographs, preparing and serving food, welcoming and screening clients, etc. The list of what you can learn to do and how you can help is limited only by your willingness!
It is easy to understand Why Volunteers Get All The Breaks. Volunteering demonstrates to future employers that you are a good hearted, hard worker who wants to make a difference in the community. Who wouldn’t want to hire that kind of person? If you were interviewing a potential job candidate, wouldn’t you rather hire the person who is excited about their volunteer efforts rather than the person who is depressed and bored? And, since you have the time, why wouldn’t you want to make the world a better place?