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How to Stand Out From the Crowd OR Volunteer: Build Your Career

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“Man Standing Out From The Crowd” image by jscreationzs courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.

“Man Standing Out From The Crowd” image by jscreationzs courtesy of FreeDigitalPhotos.net.fr

Last week, I had the pleasure of giving a presentation to students in the Elizabeth Fry Bridges Program.  The topic was “Volunteer: Build Your Career” and my goals for the students were the following:

  • Be inspired to volunteer!
  • Identify volunteer roles that matched your interests and skills you currently have or skills you want to develop!
  • Recognize the value of volunteering on your resume!
  • Learn how Volunteer PG can help!

It seems counter-intuitive that doing unpaid work (i.e. volunteering) could help you with finding paid work (i.e. a job or career).  But, there are numerous stories about individuals who have started out volunteering for an organization and eventually have been hired by that same organization.  Two of my favourite inspirational stories include the following:

  • The famous true story of Chris Gardner – a homeless salesman turned entrepreneur – in the movie “The Pursuit of Happyness”.
  • The closer to home story of a family friend who started out volunteering to clean at a local sex-worker drop-in centre and, 8 years later, now finds herself employed as their Project Coordinator.

Do you or someone you know have an inspiring volunteer story? Please share it with me by calling or texting 250-564-0224 or emailing volunteerpg@telus.net.  I’d love to feature the story on our website and Facebook page http://www.facebook.com/VolunteerPG.

If you are looking for your first job or want to move into a new career, I challenge you to check out these volunteer-career resources that I presented at Elizabeth Fry to see how volunteering can help you.  First, I asked the students to do an inventory of their interests, skills & availability.  Next, we browsed the current list of 200+ volunteer opportunities with 100+ organizations that is maintained by Volunteer Prince George.  The handy “Opportunities by Interest” list allowed the students to quickly determine what volunteer roles were available in their chosen areas.  Following that, the students played the role of an employer who had to hire a new person for their company solely on their resumes (There were really interesting discussions about who should be hired and why. Whom did you choose to hire?)  We wrapped up by reviewing a quiz on  volunteering and careers.

Did you find a volunteer opportunity that would help your career goals? Give me a call or text at 250-564-0224 or email volunteerpg@telus.net.  I’d love to help you connect to the volunteer organization of interest.

Volunteer Prince George gratefully acknowledges the following sources of information that were used in creating our presentation “Volunteer: Build Your Career”:

Do you have other great resources for volunteering and careers?  Or, do you have feedback on our worksheets?  Please send your resources and/or feedback to volunteerpg@telus.net.

Happy volunteering,

Sarah Foot

General Manager

Volunteer Prince George

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