9 Benefits of Volunteering for Remote Job Seekers

On the lookout for a brand new job could be an absolute grind! Particularly if you wish to change jobs or fields or transition from working in individual to a distant job. Perhaps you’re getting rejected left and proper and simply can’t work out find out how to make your self extra interesting to potential employers. 

As an alternative of feeling discouraged, strive a brand new tactic and provides volunteerism a shot. Over the previous decade, I’ve had quite a lot of distant volunteer roles and have discovered that volunteering has many advantages, each personally and professionally. 

Listed here are 9 advantages of volunteering particularly for distant job seekers.

A woman volunteering virtually from a computer in her home office.

1. Acquire Experiences in New Fields or Abilities

When you’re trying to break into a brand new job or area, volunteering could be the right method to get your foot within the door or strive new expertise or skills. For example, let’s say you need to transition careers and ultimately get a distant digital advertising job. Nevertheless, you don’t at the moment have any expertise in digital advertising. Getting a volunteer place on this space with no expertise will probably be a lot simpler than a full-time or part-time place. Then, as you proceed to use for jobs, you’ll now have the ability to put your volunteer expertise in your resume. 

I can let you know firsthand that this has labored for me greater than as soon as! The primary time I did this was again in 2012 after I was a volunteer Group Supervisor. On this position, I managed a Fb group and trialed a brand new private improvement program. The second time, I volunteered as an entrepreneurship author and social media supervisor for a micro-lending group. 

Each of those experiences got here in useful when a freelancing consumer requested me to take over her digital advertising. Due to these volunteer alternatives, I used to be absolutely assured that I may tackle this work since I’d already achieved it, simply not in a paid capability. 

2. Attempt Out a New Job With out Committing to It Full-Time

The tough factor about attempting a brand new job or talent is that we frequently don’t know if we’ll prefer it or be good at it till we strive it. Additionally, if in case you have members of the family to assist or different duties, it may be extraordinarily irritating and dangerous to surrender what you’re doing now for one thing unknown. 

That is another excuse I like volunteering—it lessens the stakes. When you strive one thing new and hate it, quitting received’t really feel like the tip of the world for those who’re volunteering, whereas dropping your revenue would make quitting rather more troublesome, even for those who don’t prefer it.

3. Use Volunteering to Fill Any Gaps in Employment

Whether or not you freelance or work for a corporation, many individuals lose shoppers or get laid off. If that is you, you may fear about having a niche between jobs. On this case, discovering a volunteer place in your area or doing a associated job generally is a good method to preserve your expertise contemporary, fill your time, and increase your resume. 

When it comes time so as to add this to your resume, you possibly can select whether or not to make use of the phrase volunteer. If potential employers particularly ask you about it, you by no means need to lie. Nevertheless, you don’t essentially want to put in writing the phrase volunteer in your resume; you possibly can merely state your place and record your duties or duties. 

4. Construct up Your Listing of References or Letters of Suggestion

When you hate asking folks to be references for you, you’re not alone. This may be particularly tough if in case you have a troublesome boss or primarily work independently and don’t really feel like you’ve got many individuals you possibly can even ask. 

Since you aren’t being paid as a volunteer, it’s totally affordable to ask a supervisor at your volunteer office or perhaps a fellow volunteer to be a reference. In fact, for those who’re going to ask, just remember to’re working laborious and doing an important job in order that they’ll communicate candidly about you and may have constructive issues to say.

5. Get a Distant Volunteer Job if You’re Trying to Begin Working Remotely

I’ve been working remotely for a decade, and I’ve been requested in interviews or on calls with shoppers if I’ve expertise working remotely or have labored on a distant staff earlier than. When you haven’t labored remotely earlier than, volunteering can assist you get distant expertise that you may share with future employers. 

Distant work isn’t for everybody, so that is additionally check to see for those who prefer it and need to do it on a extra everlasting foundation. It may well additionally offer you time to regulate to working remotely and managing your schedule.

One other risk is discovering a group service alternative that may can help you go hybrid, doing a few of your work in individual and the remaining remotely. 

6. Study to Use New Software program and Different On-line Instruments

My early distant volunteer work helped me to be taught extra about on-line instruments like Zoom, Google Suite, Groups, Pinterest, Instagram, and others. Whereas we use most of those each day now, 5-10 years in the past, they have been newer to me. Studying these in a volunteer capability lowered the strain and helped me enhance my self-confidence with studying new expertise instruments.

As you search for distant jobs, pay shut consideration to the software program and instruments talked about within the job descriptions. When you aren’t aware of them, you possibly can probably be taught them in a volunteer place. Or, if not, you possibly can all the time take the initiative and take a look at them out by yourself. 

This may also be your probability to enhance your intangible expertise like problem-solving, growing your teamwork expertise, or changing into a greater listener. 

A woman volunteering remotely from a laptop in her home office.

7. Develop Your Community and Make New Connections

Everyone knows that networking is likely one of the greatest methods to discover a new job, however most of us hate doing it. As you volunteer, don’t be shy about telling folks in your volunteer office that you simply’re job looking; you by no means know who they could have of their social community who may show you how to. 

When you’re extra of an introvert and shrink back from networking, this may preserve you in common contact with new pals and improve your social expertise. Regardless that this isn’t simple for many people, it may be good to get out of our consolation zones and take a look at new issues. 

You may even end up making new pals and constructing your assist system. I can share firsthand that I met one in every of my greatest pals by way of a neighborhood literacy volunteer alternative. This may also be the right method to meet others with frequent pursuits. 

8. Enhance Your Psychological and Bodily Well being 

You is perhaps shocked to know that volunteering affords many well being advantages and psychological well being advantages. In accordance with the Mayo Clinic, volunteers have higher bodily and psychological well being and likewise exhibit decrease charges of melancholy and anxiousness in comparison with non-volunteers. Whilst a distant volunteer, you possibly can fight loneliness and social isolation whereas engaged on a shared exercise. 

When you work for a corporation that you simply genuinely have a ardour for, you’ll really feel a pure sense of accomplishment and sense of satisfaction as you’re employed in your duties, irrespective of how trivial they is perhaps. This may also be useful for stress discount and well-being if work or areas of your life are particularly irritating. 

9. Get Out of Your Head and Concentrate on Somebody Else

As a job seeker, you in all probability spend extra time than you care to confess in your head. Just a few years in the past I used to be going by way of a difficult season of life. Throughout that point, on-line volunteering gave me a way of objective and even helped increase my temper and vanity as I noticed how a lot I excelled on the work I used to be doing.

Typically, we simply have to take an hour or two out of our week to assist another person. To assist others is likely one of the greatest emotions on this planet and is actually one of many intangible advantages of volunteering.

Advantages of Volunteering Wrapup

Whereas most distant job seekers overlook volunteering, you possibly can see many advantages of volunteering by way of well being outcomes, life satisfaction, networking, and constructing your expertise and skills. 

When you’re uncertain the place to start out, the Volunteer Match web site has hundreds of choices. Keep in mind, not each alternative will probably be an ideal match, and that’s regular. If the primary one doesn’t work out, don’t fear—simply soar again in and take a look at one thing else.

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