Volunteering leads to Careers

Posted: 10th Oct

Want a new job?  Try volunteering.

Recent data from the US confirms that volunteering increases your chance of landing work by up to 27%, and in just one year!

The study:  ‘Volunteering as a Pathway to Employment - does volunteering increase odds of finding a job for the out of work?’ examined 70,000 volunteers over ten years of volunteering in a range of settings: short and long term, and the findings were the same. Just a year’s volunteering led to work for more than a quarter of the research participants.  

Gail Rodgers, manager of Volunteering Geelong, knows this from first-hand experience.   “Volunteering Geelong is well aware of the link between voluntary work and employment.  People have often come to us as a last resort, when they haven’t been able to find work, and volunteering has given them a pathway to a career they may not have known before, and an experience that has led to paid work.”

The US study listed some of the obvious advantages of voluntary work as a career step towards employment. Volunteering develops work place skills, professional contacts and employability practice.  

Contributing to an improvement in others’ lives also builds confidence and resilience in the career seeker.

Gail Rodgers remembers an outstanding recent example.  Liam Page, a young Deakin finance student from Colac,  voluntarily developed a financial strategy for a local organization.  This tangible experience led to an internship with Deloittes in Melbourne, kick starting his career.

Gail hopes that volunteering for regional job seekers could be considered a natural pathway to a new career or an alternative job.  When Geelong businesses are forced to downsize, Gail says Volunteering Geelong would welcome the opportunity to help them explore trending careers through the wide range of volunteering opportunities in the Geelong community.

“It’s frustrating when locals over look volunteering as a strategy for building a new career.”

Marianne Messer

See  Volunteering Geelong for current voluntary work opportunities in the region, and Careers in Caring, for health industry voluntary work opportunities.

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Volunteering as a pathway to Employment US study