The Value of Volunteering

With the downturn in the labour market reaching the 2 year mark, we speak with many job seekers that have been struggling. With each day of unemployment, a person’s frustration and fear can increase, while their confidence and self-worth can start to diminish.

If local economists are accurate, we may not see an increase in employment opportunities until next year. So what can a person do?  The pattern of checking job boards, attending job fairs and pounding the pavement becomes routine, and many times can feel like a worthless exercise.

Volunteering can absolutely impact your job search results.  Here are some of the reasons why:

  1. Networking – it gives you a chance to meet more people. And they know people, who know people; you get the idea. Because everyone is aware of the massive lay-offs recently, it is not an embarrassment to be out of work. People understand the unfortunate dynamics that have become a reality for so many.
  2. Learning Opportunities – this could be a great time to research something you have been passionate about. A volunteer position will give insight into new industries and an opportunity to learn new skills. Who knows – this may create a refreshing change in the way you earn your livelihood. Or, if you were already in the “field of your dreams” and want to continue, volunteering can help keep your skills current.
  3. Improved Resume – as mentioned in the comment above, you may be able to add more skills to your resume. And it also is a great way to “fill in the blanks”. When a potential employer sees you have been keeping yourself busy, they see a motivated individual.
  4. Self Esteem – it has been widely documented that people thrive emotionally when they have the chance to “give back”. Volunteer activities help you create more “Purpose” in your life and you feel a real sense of contribution. When your self-worth is enhanced, you project a positive energy. Take that to your next interview!
  5. Chances are that you are already thinking of some organizations worth looking at. However, if not, here is a list of some that our own staff have experience with. It may help to get you started!
  • Animal Rescue Organizations
  • Beaker Head
  • Breast Cancer Supportive Care Foundation
  • Calgary Corporate Challenge
  • Calgary Drop In Center
  • Calgary Humane Society
  • Calgary Immigrant Women’s Association
  • Calgary International Film Festival
  • Calgary Life Church
  • Canadian Cancer Society
  • Canadian Payroll Association
  • Girl Guides of Canada
  • Green Calgary
  • G.R.I.T. Calgary
  • Heart and Stroke Foundation
  • Immigrant Services Calgary
  • Junior Achievement
  • Kidney Foundation of Alberta
  • Mustard Seed
  • Operation Christmas Child
  • Seniors Secret Service
  • Sylvan Lake Jazz at the Lake

This is just a sampling of the great organizations that could be looking for you. Your gift of time may prove to be a really worthwhile investment!