Are you feeling deflated looking for a job, and experiencing a crisis of confidence? Here’s my number one suggestion to boost your self esteem – volunteer. It’s a win-win. You’ll be doing good for others and reaping benefits, too.
While fielding rejections during my own career crisis, I felt like a walking pin cushion, waiting for the next puncture. Volunteering was the game changer. It got me out of the house, gave me a purpose, provided a success story to share at job interviews and ultimately led to a paycheck.
Volunteer to Use Your Skills
If you’re out of a job or underutilized at work, volunteering offers an opportunity to showcase your skills and talent. If you feel like they’re getting rusty, it will be a relief to use them again, potentially in front of someone with the capacity to hire you. After demonstrating my strengths during a volunteer stint, I pitched an idea of a new initiative to leadership, and got hired to run it.
Volunteering Makes it Easier to Network
When was the last time you dragged yourself to a job-hunting networking event? And if you did, how much did you enjoy it? Being a volunteer gives you a structured environment to connect with like-minded people outside your circle of friends and acquaintances. Deeper ties are formed when you meet people working on a project together. And within this new group, there could be a lead to a job.
It’ll Feel Like You Have More Time
I love this quote from Cassie Mogilner of the Wharton School, commenting on her study, Giving Time Gives You Space: “People who give time feel more capable, confident and useful. They feel they’ve accomplished something and therefore that they can accomplish more in the future, and this self-efficacy makes them feel that time is more expansive.”
Volunteer as a Test Run
If you have a vision about your possible next career, but don’t know whether it would be a good fit, volunteering can offer the chance to test the waters, and learn more about a new field. Look into all volunteer opportunities that relate to your potential next profession, and be open to starting off with humble tasks.
Make the World a Better Place
#1 reason to be a volunteer! Your participation can make a difference.
Where to Volunteer?
As you’re exploring various volunteer opportunities, consider what you want to achieve. Are you hoping to connect with your dream company? Is your main goal to utilize your existing skills with organizations that need them? Or do you just want to do good, alongside people who share your values? If you’re wanting more clarity about your values, passion and “dream” company, click here:
And if you’re game to get started volunteering today, here’s a list of sites that offer a range of opportunities:
Points of Light
Linkedin for Volunteers
Corporation for National and Community Service