How to 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. During the 2018 Career...Encore Volunteer Fair, over 79 atteendees had the opportunity to meet with representatives from various non-profit organizations. They discovered first hand the many "volunteer job" options that matched their interests, knowledge, skills and abilitities.
If you were unable to participate, no worries! Here are the organizations and the representatives' contact information:
- American Red Cross - Terrence Townsend, Volunteer Services; firstname.lastname@example.org; 803.540.1242; 803.508.5251 (Cell)
- AmeriCorp (SBP) - Mike Sullivan, Program Manager; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org, 816.360.9048; 803.281.2744
- Congaree National Park - Gregory Cunningham/Kellie Weidinger; email@example.com; firstname.lastname@example.org; 803.776.4396
- Cooperative Ministry - Rhemie Gantz, email@example.com; 803.799.3857 ext. 650
- EdVenture - Margaret Dubose, Development and Volunteer Associate; firstname.lastname@example.org; 803.400.1147
- Family Connections - Mila Conway/Padgett Mozingo; email@example.com
- Harvest Hope Food Bank - Sara Bouknight (Deloris Squirewlll attending); firstname.lastname@example.org; 803.254.4432 ext. 1112
- NAMI Mid-Carolina – Zenethia Brown, Executive Director; email@example.com; 803.206.2916
- Midlands Lutheran Hospice – Kendra Neely; firstname.lastname@example.org; 803.513.7034
- PawMetto Lifeline - Magen Sier, Special Projects Manager; MSier@pawmettolifeline.org; 803.465.9173
- Profection and Advocacy for People with Disabilities - Kristy Caldwell; email@example.com; 803.782.0639
- Richland Library – Katy Watkins, Volunteer Coordinator; firstname.lastname@example.org; 803.929.3436
- Richland District One – David L. Jackson, Volunteer Coordinator; email@example.com
- Senior Resources - Ann-Marie Polsley, Volunteer Coordinator; firstname.lastname@example.org
- Sexual Trauma Services – Kelly Wuest, Volunteer Services Coordinator; email@example.com; 803.256.5824
- Transitions - Cathy Cobbs; firstname.lastname@example.org; 803.708.4861
- USO – Anne Elise Goudelock, Center Operations Supervisor; email@example.com; Office; 803.822.7954; Cell 803.741.4367
- Work in Progress – Amy Jolly, Executive Director; firstname.lastname@example.org; 803.758.0066
ADDITIONAL VOLUNTEER RESOURCES AND ORGANIZATIONS
BENEFITS TO VOLUNTEERING:
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?