Realistically, it’s pretty tough for most people to spend 40 hours per week on their active job search while they’re unemployed. So then the question becomes what to do with this extra time. I recommend volunteering. Here’s why.
1: Your volunteer time and skill frees paid staff to handle other important tasks. Most nonprofit organizations have experienced revenue losses and staff reductions, but their outreach demands have increased. Volunteering even a few hours each week increases the services they can offer.
2: Your volunteer effort could exercise and strengthen some of your workplace skills. Answering the phones, entering data, organizing a project of other volunteers, and similar activities could well be the kinds of tasks that you may include on your résumé to assure employers that your skills are still sharp.
3: Your volunteer network may well open doors unexpectedly in your job search. Just this week, we had contact with a nonprofit organization that is screening résumés for an executive position. There were many exceptional candidates who applied. Among the four finalists is an individual who has been volunteering with this organization just to support its mission. The volunteering was the “plus” that boosted this individual into final consideration.
The opportunities to share your time, energy, and talents are limited only by your imagination. Why not volunteer? It’s a threefold gift!
Republished with permission. Originally published by Elyse on her recruiting blog in 2012.