3 WAYS IT PAYS TO VOLUNTEER

Do you volunteer your time outside of work? If not, you probably should. That's the finding from a new survey by Robert Half International. The employment firm asked more than 1,000 employees in the United States about their volunteering habits, and the 41 percent who volunteer reported an array of personal and career benefits from doing so. Their responses confirm what many people already know: When you spend time volunteering, you get more than you give.[i]

USE VOLUNTEER WORK TO FILL GAPS IN YOUR WORK HISTORY

If you're going on job interviews after being unemployed, volunteering can be a talking point that can fill in gaps in your work history. It can also create solid experience if you're a recent college grad, says Mary Marino, Founder of Employment Pipeline: "For example, a recent PR grad could help promote a cause by using their transferable skills like writing releases, content curating, and using social networking. That way, a potential employer can see that a candidate not only got up and did something between jobs, but also used and refined their skills and knowledge."[ii]


IT WIDENS YOUR NETWORK

Do you want to meet business leaders, prospective customers, and influencers in your community? Volunteering is often a great way to do that. Fifty-seven percent of those who volunteer cited a wider network as one of the benefits they get from volunteering. I would never suggest that you choose to volunteer for a charity solely in the hopes that you'll bump into a high-powered executive who happens to be on the board. On the other hand, paying attention to where the people you most want to meet spend their volunteer time can be a smart way to make contact with movers and shakers who are otherwise inaccessible. Just make sure the work is something you'd enjoy doing anyway, since there's no guarantee you'll fulfill your secret agenda. Whatever happens, you will get to meet people you don't already know, and those connections may lead to unexpected opportunities.[iii]


HELP PAY DOWN STUDENT LOANS

Users on the Shared Harvest Fund platform create a profile and list the social causes they're interested in, from homelessness to community development. If they are connected with a project run by one of the participating nonprofits, subscribers can expect to receive a monthly stipend between $250 and $1,000. The funds are paid directly to their student loan servicers to cover payments. While the opportunities start in Los Angeles, Chicago and New York, subscribers can also find remote work outside these cities, says Nana Efua B.A.M., founder and CEO of the Shared Harvest Fund. The types of projects range from providing legal assistance to bookkeeping. [iv]

[i] INC.Com, 7 Ways It Pays to Volunteer Your Time, Minda Zetlin, accessed 26 March 2020, < https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/7-ways-volunteering-makes-you-happier-and-more-successful.html> [ii] CBSNews.com, Volunteer Work: 5 Ways to Use it to Get a Paying Job, Amy Levin-Epstein, accessed 26 March 2020, <https://www.cbsnews.com/news/volunteer-work-5-ways-to-use-it-to-get-a-paying-job/> [iii] INC.Com, 7 Ways It Pays to Volunteer Your Time, Minda Zetlin, accessed 26 March 2020, < https://www.inc.com/minda-zetlin/7-ways-volunteering-makes-you-happier-and-more-successful.html> [iv] U.S. News and World Reports, Using Volunteer Work to Pay Down Student Debt, Farran Powell, accessed 26 March 2020, <https://www.usnews.com/education/best-colleges/paying-for-college/articles/2018-06-13/how-volunteer-work-can-pay-your-student-loans>

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