It’s no secret that volunteering is a fantastic way to support your career. Giving your time to a cause you care about makes you feel good and also allows you to use your professional skills in a different capacity. Volunteering is especially important during times of transition because it shows future employers that you are ambitious and hardworking.
In fact, although volunteering is unpaid, it can pay off big time when it comes to your career. The Corporation for National and Community Service tracked more than 70,000 jobless people between 2002 and 2012 and found that those who volunteered had a 27 percent better chance of finding a job than those who didn’t, as noted in the Forbes article “Proof That Volunteering Pays Off For Job Hunters.“
Beyond showing you have initiative, volunteering provides an amazing opportunity to network. You’ll meet people from all walks of life who work for numerous organizations. It’s one of the best ways to expand your professional network so you can stay connected about industry happenings as well as new jobs. Volunteering also looks great on your resume and provides tons of fodder to pull from during an interview. Check out volunteer.linkedin.com to explore opportunities.
Do you love the idea of volunteering, but struggle to find the time to volunteer regularly? A rapidly expanding concept called micro-volunteering is the answer to your dilemma.
Micro-volunteering describes tasks done by a volunteer that take small increments of time to complete. This type of volunteering is low commitment, can be completed in as little as 10 minutes, and oftentimes is done via the internet. It’s quick, convenient and allows you to give your time no matter where you are or how little time is available in your schedule.
Play a video game to contribute to a research project. Take photos of your food to help feed the homeless. Use your knowledge to translate historical documents. Track weather patterns to help health researchers learn if there’s a connection between pain and rain. Take a walk to change the world.
These are all real micro-volunteering opportunities that can be done in just minutes, plus you’ll be contributing to nonprofits with important missions. The best way to learn about micro-volunteering is to check out some specialized websites and find a cause and project that speak to you. Here are some to get you started:
Whether you have several hours a week to donate or just a few minutes, volunteering is an important part of being a career-savvy professional and responsible citizen. Use the opportunity to help a good cause while strengthening your skill set and expanding your network. Remember, you can help change the world in just 10 minutes.