Volunteering as a gateway to employment? It was for me!

written by Elyse Bushard, former Client Services & Event Volunteer at Metro VolunteersImage

For me volunteering has always been a way to give to an organization I am passionate about. From volunteering for humane societies to hospitals and other non-profits, I have had so many rewarding experiences. But I never thought volunteering could be used as a tool to start my career.

Volunteering at Metro Volunteers not only opened the door to many more opportunities to what I was interested in as a career, but the experience also helped me build my skill sets. I obtained a huge amount of customer service, marketing and administrative skills. All of my volunteer experience culminated at Metro Volunteers in a place where they used my experience and skill set as an asset to their organization. I felt like a part of their team, and never realized before how important any experience – volunteer or not – is valuable in building a resume. Experience is experience.

In addition to building my resume, volunteering has made it easy to make professional connections. We’ve all heard the phrase “it’s who you know” when searching for a job. My experience volunteering allowed me to be introduced to professionals that were interested in the same things as me. During my job search in this tough economy, meeting new people was the only thing I had to rely on. I built my connections and my resume, which eventually led me to more job opportunities at my arsenal. Currently, I am holding two part-time marketing/event jobs and I owe it all to the connections and experience I gained while volunteering.

There are thousands of nonprofits in Colorado and all of them have unique opportunities that can fit your needs as a job seeker. There are multiple reasons to volunteer, including health benefits, the pride of giving back and of course, the potential career opportunities. There is no reason why you shouldn’t volunteer year-round with one or more organizations that fit your beliefs, career goals or both!

If you haven’t found your volunteer passion, use Metro Volunteers as your research tool. With their easy-to-use web site, you can browse more than 500 organizations or use the online calendar to find one-time and on-going volunteer opportunities that fit your schedule. It’s like the “Match.com” of volunteering – volunteer with as many organizations as you like until you find the one that fits you best!

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