It has always been a common belief that work experience can get you ahead in your career.
However, this might be an unrealistic expectation for young adults who have just completed their studies without having any prior work experience.
Fortunately, volunteering can help you accelerate your career progression, at the same time invest yourself in doing positive changes to your community.
From helping out in animal shelters, conserving the environment and joining other non-governmental organisations (NGOs), here in Sarawak, we are not short of volunteering programmes for young adults to participate in.
Here are some reasons why you should consider volunteering for your career advancement:
Find your passion, interest and goal
While volunteer work has the primary goal of helping others, it is a way for you to search for what you are truly passionate about.
Whether it be the environment or social changes or even an art movement, when you do find what your interest is, you’ll want to do something related to a cause you truly care about regardless of how busy your schedule is.
That way, you can make use of your talents and the chance to work towards your goal as well as to boost your professional reputation.
Expand your world view
Volunteering provides a great opportunity for you to learn about social, economic and developmental issues within your community and around the world.
This is because it allows you to travel around, work with a diverse group of people from various backgrounds, and meet people in need who can share perspectives that differ from yours.
Give your resume a boost
For those looking for their first job or making a change in their career, volunteering is a great way to avoid any gap in your resume.
This is because you can take advantage of your volunteering time to refine your work skills.
And from a potential employer’s point of view, it shows that while being dedicated to helping the community and seeking opportunities from various places, you are also proving to be a valuable candidate with various skills.
Volunteering is also an opportunity for you to meet new people and expand your network.
When volunteering, do remember to keep a list of contacts for you might never known who and how will help you in your career later on.
Gain new experiences
The working environment is getting more and more competitive than ever.
This means that you’ll need to stand out more than just meeting the minimum requirements of education, experience and skills.
In such situation, volunteering can help compensate for your limited work experience or fill in gaps in your employment.
For those of you who have just entered the workforce, the volunteering experience can also boost your self-confidence when meeting new colleagues and adapt to nearly any working environment.