Are you thinking about doing some volunteer work because you are looking to make a career change? Perhaps, you are trying to escape conventional office politics. There are a few things to consider about yourself when thinking about where you may want to volunteer work.
Volunteer work can be a very rewarding experience. However, do not let yourself believe that just because the term volunteer, or unpaid helper, is used that it doesn’t require lots of time, dedication, and work.
Volunteer work can be an excellent way to make a difference in your community by contributing your time or by helping a community and those hit by a major tragedy such as a hurricane, tornado or floods.
Volunteering can help you discover what career field suits you best and will help align your passions, skills, and talents for the best career choice for you. Click here to learn more about Dr. Jen Welter who followed her passion and made a career transition.
Things To Consider Before Doing Volunteer Work
First, you will want to consider your passions and the kinds of activities you like to do. Remember that volunteer work will not only have an impact on your life and a career but the organizations and lives of those you encounter. Therefore, put some serious thought into it and be honest with yourself about what you like and don’t like doing.
Consider your skills and talents. Another major factor that will help you determine what type of volunteer work you can do involves your qualifications and abilities. Make a list of your skills and talents. Compare your list to the places where you are considering donating your services as a volunteer. In which of the locations can your skills be best utilized?
Next, make sure you have the dedication and the time to do the volunteer work. Volunteer work can be time-consuming, and it can mean lots of hard work depending on the services you are providing. Keep in mind that you will be using a lot of your spare time, working hard in some instances, and you will not be getting paid for the volunteer work. Most people fail to recognize this and quit shortly after starting.
Types Of Volunteer Work
Volunteer Work with Children and/or Elderly by volunteering at a local elementary school or child care center. You can read to the children, help on field trips, and assist teachers with office tasks. To help the elderly, you may volunteer at a nearby nursing home or help out at one of the many services that help those who are confined to their home, such as Meals on Wheels.
Volunteer Work in your Community at a library, the county courthouse or other government agencies. Search the yellow pages for “volunteer centers” or “volunteer organizations” and then call them to see if they are in need of volunteers. Check out idealist for opportunities that may be in your area or find volunteer work opportunities at volunteer.gov America’s Natural and Cultural Resources Volunteer Portal.
Volunteer Work with Animals at a local shelter or become a foster pet parent. You don’t have to be an expert on animals to help out at a pet shelter in your community. If you have the extra time and a desire to help, then you have everything you need. Put your skills and talents to use at your local shelter. Check out volunteer opportunities on the Pet Finder website.
There are many special projects that you can help the Best Friends organization with right from your home! Check out the virtual volunteer opportunities. Don't forget the animals in your own community. Search for No More Homeless Pets Network partners near you.
Volunteer work is good for you and your community. It gives you a chance to help others while testing out your passions, skills, and talents. You will feel better about yourself with an improved self-image because you feel like you are making a difference in the world.
If you are contemplating a career change, there is no better way to make a positive impact while learning about what you enjoy and what type of job will give you a rewarding career and make you happy.