Seeking Employment? Volunteer Your Way to a Job | Richland Library Skip to content

Seeking Employment? Volunteer Your Way to a Job

One of the areas that should be planned for in your "job searching work week" is time for volunteering. This suggestion often brings responses like, "I don't have the time to volunter because I need a job." But, If you really think about the benefits, you can't afford NOT to volunteer.

There are productive ways to looking for a job just as there are in doing a job! Being effective and efficient with time management during the” job search work week” reaps more rewards in various areas of the employment search process and one of those areas is making the time to Volunteer.

Earlier this month, our customers had the opportunity to meet with representatives from various non-profit organizations during Career Encore's Mini-Volunteer Fair. While networking, they discovered many different "job" options that were perfect for their interests and skill set. If you were not able to attend, no worries because I have listed the name of the organizations below, along with the wonderful representative who would be delighted to hear from you and answer any questions:

American Red Cross - Erin Tyler, Volunteer Services Manager, 803-296-5572,

Palmetto Health Richland - Randi Jackson, Volunteer Recruiting Coordinator, 803-434-8089,

Palmetto Health Baptist - Stacey Anderson, Volunteer Services Department, 803-296-5572,

PAWmetto Life Line - Karen Deas, Special Projects Manager, 803-465-9173,

Sexual Trauma Services - Alsion Salisbury, Volunteer Services Coordinator, 803-790-8208,

Richland Library - Katy Watkins, Volunteer Coordinator, 803- 929-3436,

NAMI Mid-Carolina - Helen Castillo, President, 803-206-2916,

Protection & Advocacy for People with Disabilities - Nicole Davis, Attorney, 803-782-0639,


1. Stay Busy – Everyone should have a daily and weekly purpose. Volunteering affords you the opportunity to stay focused, sharp and useful.

2. Broaden your Network –You will be meeting new people, small business owners, board members, employees and other volunteers who can help you find a new or better job. They can help you by providing a contact or link to people or positions that are open and hiring; often before the job announcement is even posted.

3. Sharpen your skills and gain experience– By offering your services to others, you will gain the chance to obtain or enhance your knowledge skills and abilities. You can also add your experiences to your resume which will make you more attractive to the prospective employer.

4. Develop Leadership Abilities – When volunteering, make sure to “lead by example” regardless of the task that you are ask to do or take initiative to accomplish. If you are presently working, volunteering within the organization can actually lead to a promotion. For example: Help with a particular company program and initiate new ideas and help develop them.

5. Develop a humble Attitude of Gratitude - Many organizations rely on volunteers for administrative work or manual labor; regardless of what you did in your previous job (or present) be “humble” enough to jump in and complete whatever task is required. Being of service and helping others will help you develop a healthier, more confident and meaningful life.

Volunteering also provides you with the opportunity to demonstrate your "soft skills." These refer to a cluster of personal qualities, habits, attitudes and social graces that make you a good employee and compatible to work with.

According to Ron Torch, CEO & Chief Marketing Officer -Torch Group Inc.,"The importance of soft skills has been undervalued. Most companies assumed that people knew how to behave on the job and how to fit in as well as how to be on time, take initiative, and rank as a high level producer or top performer. However, because businesses have become less dictatorial and more social, the value of soft skills to an organization is growing. In addition, in order to gain a competitive edge, employers want people who know how to handle themselves at work and how to relate to customers and colleagues." For example: Are you adaptable, have a strong work ethic, demonstrate initiative and are trustworthy?