Why do you spend time volunteering instead of finding a part time job or an internship, that's more helpful career wise?
I know that my friends, have asked me this. Especially being an international student, I am in the exact same situation where others may focus more on getting good grades and job-related experience. My response here is that, alongside internships and jobs, volunteering contributes to employ-ability! I've found that volunteer experience only builds job opportunities.
Firstly, volunteering helps to develop soft skills, transferable to the workplace. When participating in volunteering programs, I work as part of a team which requires me to stay organised and communicate effectively with others to achieve team goals. I'm able to practice management skills in a team leader role - all of which will be assets when moving up the career ladder. As an international student, I think volunteering is a great way for me to practice my English skills and public speaking skills. Moreover, if you volunteer with Volunteer Army for 20 hours, the AHEGS certification helps out with future opportunities.
Secondly, volunteering expands my professional network. When I volunteered at Twilight Aged Care, I had the chance to meet Twilight’s Marketing Director, who gave me valuable advice for future internships. She also connected with me on LinkedIn and helped expand my network to people in the marketing industry. In fact, with any experience, you never know who you are going to meet. As volunteering gives you the chance to meet new people, it serves to build your career path.
Last but not least, volunteering helps you to discover yourself and personal identity. By doing things you are interested in or trying new things that you have never done before, volunteering is a good way to learn more about yourself and unlock your potential, a foundation of career success. Volunteering tells prospective employers a great deal about who you are, outside of a resume or CV.
From my own experiences, volunteering helps to build a solid foundation for the next phase of your career. The skills you use, the tasks you complete, and the outcomes you achieve through volunteering will bring you closer to your career goals.