volunteering and networking

When you decide to start looking for a new career, it will be because of one of two reasons; unemployment or lack of adequate employment. When you start the job search the two most important tools you will have will be:

  • Job search through networking
  • Job search through volunteering

Networking and the Job Search

It can't be said enough that one of the most important ways to job search is by networking. The reasons for this are basic:

  • No one will know you want a new job until you tell them
  • Someone may have an idea or position you never thought of.
  • 90% of all available job openings are unadvertised.
  • 50% of all available job openings will be found by 'word of mouth'.
  • Referrals and references land more jobs than any other method.
  • The chances of new employment increase with the number of people looking.

Volunteering and the Job Search

Volunteering is another avenue which can lead to new employment. Volunteering can help in these areas:

  • Volunteering fills time while job searching
  • Volunteering exposes the job seeker to new job possibilities
  • Volunteering can lead to paid employment within the organization or a new career.
  • Volunteering shows that you made an attempt to stay productive and useful.
  • Volunteering shows commitment and a self starting attitude.

Combining Networking and Volunteering

The greatest use of your time during a job search is to combine networking and volunteering. While both volunteering and networking during a job search can lead to greater possibilities, combining the two can provide an almost unlimited amount of resources. How?

  • Networking through volunteer work exposes you to people who will know your skills and know where they are useful.
  • Networking through volunteering gives you access to people not available to you before.
  • Networking combined with volunteering makes the most effective and efficient use of your available time.

Now that you have the knowledge to combine the two, how do you find opportunities to utilize this new idea?

  • Look for volunteer duties which match your skills.
  • Look into both regional and national non-profit groups for opportunities.
  • Look into the possibility of working overseas.
  • Look for new experiences which may provide even more skills and connections.

While you are conducting a job search the need to make use of any available resource is mandatory. Using your available free time to keep your skills fresh or learn new skills is always a proactive approach to a job search. Networking while you are volunteering leads to more possibilities and a wider range of prospective openings than utilizing the small circle of family and friends you may have.