Gain Work Experience Through Volunteering

International Volunteers Day (5 December) is fast approaching. A day to acknowledge the immeasurable contribution made by individuals, who volunteer time and talents, in so many aspects of our society.

But, don’t go thinking that volunteering is what you do “when you retire”!

Imagine the plight of those entering the workforce for the first time – “you can’t get a job without experience and you don’t get experience without a job”.

A viable option then is to consider voluntary work. Apart from benefiting others by offering your skills and time, you’ll gain valuable work experience and give your resume a boost.

Volunteer work is a stimulating and rewarding activity, and a great entry portal into an organization. Apart from allowing you to develop your ability, it shows prospective employers that you’re determined to succeed, even if you have to start at the bottom. It is a well accepted fact that volunteers don’t always work for purely philanthropic reasons, so don’t feel guilty about undertaking voluntary work to improve your chances of paid employment.

Volunteer work will provide you with:

* The chance to think laterally about your skills;

* The opportunity to network;

* The opportunity to use and develop your communication and inter-personal skills;

* Motivation, enthusiasm and confidence;

* Actual work experience in a work environment; and

* The opportunity to explore career options before making a commitment.

Success as a volunteer depends on you, so remember to honour your commitment and understand your responsibility as a volunteer. Finally, ask for a reference – it will be a welcome contribution to your resume!

For further information about volunteering in the environment/conservation sector,

contact Frank Ondrus at HOPE on phone (07) 4639 2135 or email [email protected] .

Frank Ondrus, President – HOPE Inc

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