Adding volunteer work to the job search helps participants in several ways.
Let's face it: unemployment in 2014 can be a discouraging journey. Hiring managers, mindful of the cost of hiring the wrong person, often take longer to make decisions, taking candidates through rounds of interviews over months before settling on the one they want. Many employers, overwhelmed by the sheer numbers of resumes submitted, don't get back with applicants to let them know when they've received their application or gone with another candidate, even after interviewing. As the days and weeks and months go by it can be easy for a job hunter to start to question why they haven't gotten hired, and slip into depression. It can be hard to keep up morale but getting accepted as a volunteer by a nonprofit can definitely be the encouragement they need.
Meaningful volunteerism, using the skills that are exercised on a professional level every day to make a substantive contribution to the goals of the organization, can be a huge confidence boost, reminding the job seeker why they were so successful in their career in the past and that they still have those skills to contribute.
Working with an organization that the job seeker feels a connection to in some way and being able to further their mission can also be a source of pride and something that they can speak about in interviews with authority and enthusiasm as recent experience.
|Terry Scott-Mitchell (center), LA Fellow from Cohort 9, with other volunteers|
working the information table for the Center for Nonprofit Management
Volunteering is great for networking as well. You meet a cross-section of people you might never otherwise come in contact with, and many times have the opportunity to talk and learn about each other as you work. It's not surprising that people who donate their time to nonprofit organizations tend to be involved, generous and caring individuals. These are the kinds of people that prove to be valuable assets to any network.
Finally, nonprofit organizations benefit from the experience
and skills developed by professionals
|Terry Scott-Mitchell and Leroy McKinney, |
LA Fellows from Cohort 9 who
the Center for Nonprofit Management
LA Fellows from Cohorts 1-9 have served a wealth of organizations across the Los Angeles area, many well beyond their time in the program. It's an important part of what makes the LA Fellows experience a valuable platform for helping job seekers move forward in their careers.