Five Ways Volunteering Can Help Your Career


shutterstock_183388412“It’s easy to make a buck. It’s tougher to make a difference.”

— Tom Brokaw, journalist


Volunteering for a good cause changes lives and doesn’t just benefit the people you’re helping. Beyond the obvious benefits of helping out in the community and making a difference, volunteering can both further your career and improve your life. Everybody wins.

Here’s how volunteering can help boost your career and your personal branding in ways you might not have expected.


  1. It’s a Chance to Network

By volunteering, you’ll meet people you otherwise never would have met. The bonds formed between volunteers are strong, and friendships quickly form. These friendships could be a big benefit by expanding your network of contacts. It’s a nice side effect of the work you’ll be doing.


  1. You Could Discover Your Passion

Barbara Abbot was out of work for almost a decade when she decided to start working again. Instead of focusing on corporate management again, she volunteered at the San Francisco Food Bank. Her diligent work lead to a full-time position. She never expected that to happen.

“The first day I volunteered here, I never thought I’d end up with a full-time job,” she told “Looking back, though, it seems that was a sensible way to make an impression and get in.”

Abbot’s story isn’t uncommon. There are countless examples of people who have turned their volunteer experience into a satisfying job.


  1. Hiring Managers Value Volunteers

Even if your volunteer work is unrelated to your desired job, hiring managers take notice. A LinkedIn survey found 41 percent of hiring managers view volunteer work as equal to a paid job.  This is especially beneficial to anyone who has been unemployed but volunteered while searching for a job. More importantly, potential employees who volunteer have a 27 percent better chance of being hired than people who don’t volunteer, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service.

There’s a disconnect between applicants and hiring managers based on how they value volunteering. Eighty-one percent of hiring managers feel volunteer experience is valuable, according to the Deloitte Volunteer Impact Survey. Despite that, only 46 percent of college students felt volunteering would help them land a job.

It turns out volunteers aren’t sharing their experience in their resumes. Another LinkedIn survey found 89 percent of people volunteered, yet only 45 percent listed it on their resume. Talk about a missed opportunity.


  1. You’ll Learn New Skills

Employers also value volunteering efforts because they engage employees and help them build new skills. There are no shortages of nonprofit organizations in any city, and their missions can range from education to advocacy to animals. With many nonprofits short-staffed and lacking resources, there are a number of potential tasks out there.

You could work on the website, track donations using special products or organize large-scale events. If you’re interested in trying anything, local organizations will welcome you on board. Every new skill you pick up is a chance to improve and expand your personal branding. You won’t be paid, but you’ll receive valuable hands-on experience that you can take ownership in.

  1. You’ll Grow as a Person

It’s a proven fact volunteering makes most people happier in life and improves their mental health. A study found volunteers have a 20 percent lower risk of death than people who don’t volunteer. Being happier in life can have a huge impact in your “real” job and ensure you don’t get burnt out. Your disposition and energy levels will improve, while the risk of burnout decreases. Happiness makes the day-to-day work more enjoyable.

Self-confidence goes a long way in furthering your career, and volunteering provides the outlet to improve this valuable trait. It doesn’t matter what you’re doing as long as it gives you a sense of purpose and satisfaction.


Make Volunteering Work

The most important thing when choosing how and where to volunteer is to find something you’re passionate about. Keep an eye on Facebook and check with your friends about any volunteering opportunities. Sites like can also lead you to some promising volunteering options. When you find something you enjoy doing, all the above benefits will come to fruition.

Now go out there and find what you love.

Personal Branding Blog – Stand Out In Your Career


Four Tips That Teach Kids About Volunteering, Charity and Being Grateful


Four Tips That Teach Kids About Volunteering, Charity and Being Grateful

Tis the season to be grateful.

Yes, that may not be how a popular Christmas carol goes, but I believe that there’s no time like now to teach our kids about giving back and being more grateful for what they have.

Let’s not keep thankfulness for one day only. Let’s make it a part of family life.

It is easier and more fun than you think!

Here are four tips that teach kids about volunteering, charity, and being grateful:

1. Start Small

Instead of rushing headlong in all sorts of charity and volunteer activities, take baby steps and set good examples your self. Children learn best from parents and if you’re compassionate, caring and give back to them, they’ll learn the same behavior towards others.

From simple activities, like baking bread or making soup for a neighbor’s family who may be going through some tough times demonstrate giving back to even the youngest kid.

2.Get Involved in Activities That Kids Can Relate To

For those of us with tweens and teens, getting them involved in activities that they can relate to and actively be a part of is the easiest way. The Do Something website has some great ideas for teens wanting to volunteer. My fave is the Teens for Jeans campaign where teenagers collect jeans for homeless youth.

There are a host of other ideas as well for the older kids to get involved in community building and charitable efforts that don’t take much time as well, Including a create a 20-song playlist for an older adult

3. Make Giving Back Easy

Being caring and learning to give back shouldn’t be a chore or something that kids “have” to do. Make it easy! A bake sale is great fun and when it helps end childhood hunger it becomes even better. The No Kid Hungry Bake Sale campaign is a great one to be involved in as the season for baking gets into full swing.

4. Have Fun Giving Back and Practicing Kindness as a Family

Finally, the easiest way to be charitable is to be it together. That’s right. Making caring for the community a family affair and you’ll spend time bonding with the kids while teaching them valuable life lessons too.

The Doing Good Together site has TONS of projects for families to get involved in. Their Big Hearted Families program is packed with ways to weave kindness into our days and lives easily and everyday.

How do YOU teach your kids to give back to their community while enjoying every minute of it too?

Prerna-MalikAbout Prerna:

Prerna Malik is the owner of The Mom Writes, a site that offers smart solutions to work-at-home moms. When she isn’t blogging for a living or running a social media agency with her husband, she’s baking cupcakes with her daughter or organizing a closet in her home.  Download her free eBooks on organizing and productivity for busy mom entrepreneurs today!

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