Career advancement is highly important for many people. They don’t just want a job; they want a satisfying career. Part of having a career is creating it. There are many ways to create a fabulous career including getting the right education, moving, and demonstrating your mastery of skills at work. However, one way of helping your career is often overlooked. While volunteering may seem irrelevant when it comes to career advancement, nothing could be further from the truth. Volunteering your time has many benefits. You’ll make new connections, have firsthand knowledge of the actual requirements of the organization and have experience that looks great on your resume. If you are considering a volunteer position, it’s important to think about how it can benefit you both personally as well as the organization asking for your time.

Actual Experience

Many companies today are looking for people with experience. One way to get experience is to do volunteer work. For example, if you are planning to become a vet, volunteering at an animal hospital can help you learn valuable skills you can later apply on the job. If you want to become a nurse, working as a volunteer at a senior center can help you learn to interact with people and demonstrate you have what it takes to function in the real world of patient care. If you are thinking about changing careers, volunteer work can help you establish that you’re serious about the change and have the background companies want in their employees.

Networking and Making Connections

Another advantage of volunteering is the opportunity to make connections. In today’s world of ideas, it’s more important than ever to have connections with other people when searching for a job. Many jobs are not advertised. Companies like to hire from within based on candidates they know well. If you are at the job site as a volunteer even for only a few hours a week, you can get to know your colleagues and find out about potential job openings that might be ideal for someone of your qualifications and background. When you show that you are reliable and can be trusted via your volunteer work, you’ll be able to apply for a job there with complete confidence.

A Feel for the Job

As a volunteer, you’ll get the chance to understand the requirements of the job. You may have the opportunity to work with teenagers directly and see how effective teachers manage their classrooms. You may discover that a given career path is simply not right for you. That can also be useful as it allows you to look for other work instead. You may find that you have a real talent for a specific area. For example, you might volunteer at a soup kitchen for a few days during the holidays. This can help you realize that you are good at managing people and love cooking. You can turn those skills into a satisfying career.