Volunteering is often only thought of as a means to help people or give back to society. This is indeed true, but there is also more to it than that. Volunteering can be extremely beneficial to both the organization taking on volunteers and the people offering their time and services as well. One of these critical benefits is employability.
What is Employability and Why is it Important?
Employability is the set of skills, achievements and other personal qualities that make it easier for a person to gain and maintain employment. It also involves the ability to find new employment when the need arises.
Having employability is essential because it empowers individuals and their career paths. Organizations also require future competency and are continually looking out for people whose skills meet their changing needs. How then, does volunteering help with this?
Volunteering and Employability
Volunteering can be beneficial to people who are looking for work. Some of these individuals are fresh graduates, immigrants or workers in transition.
People gain real skills during volunteering experiences that make them better equipped to find paying jobs. Since volunteering can be intensive, people learn:
- Communication skills
- Decision-making skills
All these are empathetic, top-tier skills that any job market requires. They are also skills that are mostly learnt through real work experience. Through volunteering, people get a chance to learn these real-life skills that they can later use when job-hunting. Being able to communicate also opens up opportunities for individuals and makes them more employable.
Including volunteer experience in one’s resume also shows potential employees what you are capable of. It could be that you volunteered in a similar organization; therefore, they would not need to train you. Volunteering also gives networking opportunities. This could be within the industry of interest or one that the volunteer wants to change to. Since it requires time and energy, one works together with the people involved and does the actual work. It also helps in finding out what one is actually good at and where they can direct their efforts. Volunteering can also offer new experiences and the chance to develop different skills.
Organizations that take on volunteers are also more likely to call back the same individuals when they are hiring. A lot of volunteer work requires passion, patience and hard work. Organizations can identify this in individuals and offer them a paid position because of the value they bring. With this in mind, it is vital to approach any volunteering work with an open mind because the possibilities are endless.