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I had plenty to write about in job applications, could give
real examples in interviews and actually landed my first job in
marketing before I'd even graduated
In Australia over six million people volunteer each year. Volunteers
tend to feel higher rates of satisfaction with their lives than
non-volunteers and the benefits aren't just personal. You get more
than just that ‘doing good' buzz. It can also help your career.
My volunteering days started when I was studying for my degree. I
wanted to experience more than just sitting in a classroom and thought
it would be a good way of finding some mates in my newly adopted city
as well as boosting my CV.
I signed up to ‘give five hours of my time' to a homeless shelter.
Then I volunteered to manage the media and marketing for a study event
for school kids hosted by my university. This turned into helping with
fundraising and generally putting my hand up to write flyers,
coordinate events and recruit more volunteers for a variety of causes
during my three year degree. I went on local radio, met some great
people (two of whom invited me to stay with them in Sweden) and learnt
a lot about myself. Actually, I think it was my volunteering escapades
that led me to a career in marketing.
Volunteering while studying certainly didn't do my job hunting any
harm either. I had plenty to write about in job applications, could
give real examples in interviews and actually landed my first job in
marketing before I'd even graduated.
Even today I still volunteer occasionally. I'm coordinator for my
children's playgroup and used to be a home visitor for the Australian
Volunteering is a great way to develop new skills and get extra
experience. Just because you're not paid doesn't make your
accomplishments any less worthwhile. And it's a great way of getting
training or trying out jobs you would like to do in the future. If you
volunteer in a role related to your industry or a career you want to
get into, chances are you'll meet people already working in that area
– great networks for the future. Employers, too, are often interested
in employees who've volunteered. It shows you're a team player and
For me, volunteering gave me the skills to confidently apply for
marketing roles despite not holding a business degree. TAFE
NSW has plenty of volunteering opportunities for students and each
college is deeply involved in their local community. Why not try it
for yourself? After all, it is National
Volunteer Week 2016.