Volunteer for Success: Why volunteering is essential for the development of your career path
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Volunteer for Success: Why volunteering is essential for the development of your career path

The following is a special needs program update from College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future. You may also click here to read the original article on the main program website.

by Margot Latici, CLE Denver

Volunteering - CLE AustinA volunteer experience is an essential part of the CLE Career Development framework across all centers. While volunteering is good for the community and can give students a great sense of pride, accomplishment, and connection, why is it essential on the Career Development Pathway?

Traditionally volunteer experiences are viewed like an extracurricular activity; something that is a nice addition to your daily routine, but not a necessity. The modern job market, however, demands more and more experience and having a consistent volunteer routine is an ideal way to stay competitive, relevant and create opportunities. Whether you are looking for work experience, exploring career possibilities or looking to finish a degree, volunteering can help to:

Volunteers planting a garden

  • Develop workplace competencies and skills
  • Make connections and expand your network
  • Meet hiring professionals
  • Introduce new career fields and opportunities
  • Learn new skills and trades
  • Adapt to new environments
  • Learn to work with co-workers and managers
  • Prove your leadership capabilities

Volunteering in a variety of settings helps students develop and enhance their employable qualities and build their resumes. It is important to take volunteering seriously and to be strategic about the type of opportunity you are looking for. The CLE Career Development Program offers set group volunteer activities and will support students to find an individualized volunteer experience to suite their interests and capabilities.

The benefits of volunteeringVolunteering will introduce students to new career pathways, roles within organizations and company cultures. Volunteering fosters personal growth and development by giving individuals hands on experience. In fact, we have had several cases in the Career Development Program in Denver where students have found their current employment through our weekly group volunteer opportunities. For both the student and the employer the match up has been great. For the employer it was an easy decision to hire on someone who is already familiar with the organization, company culture and job responsibilities, not to mention someone who is a familiar face around the company. For the student it was a great fit because they are confident in their ability to handle the job responsibilities successfully and are familiar with the work environment and coworkers.

Many volunteer experiences today also require a formal application, resume and interview. This is a great way for students to familiarize themselves with the process of applying and interviewing for a job, in addition to getting a foot in the door in a career of interest.

Newsletter Articles – June 2015

Holiday Inn Austin

Work. For most Americans, it is the priority that fills the majority of our waking hours each day. Through our work, we are able to achieve other important milestones in our lives. James H. Douglas, Jr., lawyer and senior-level official in the U.S. government in the mid-20th century, may have put it best when he said: “A good job is more than just a paycheck. A good job fosters independence and discipline, and contributes to the health of the community. A good job is a means to provide for the health and welfare of your family….”

While there are times when we may dream of vacationing the days away and not having the responsibilities of work, the satisfaction of a job well done draws us back to realize how valuable our careers are to our well-being. Benjamin Franklin said, “it is the working man who is the happy man. It is the idle man who is the miserable man.” Through our work, we gain self-worth, confidence and the sense of contributing to our community at large.

Shaking hands at interview.

Malcolm Gladwell says that experts like Bill Gates, Roger Federer and Yo-Yo Ma have each put in over 10,000 hours of practice to become the authorities that they are. In learning how to interview and impress an employer, practice is the most constant and important ingredient in the mix of success. But what exactly do I practice and how do I do that?
Start practicing with the job application. Your first contact with an employer is through your job application. It is important that they are neat, clearly filled out and complete. Only apply for jobs that (1) you are qualified for and, (2) you are interested in and willing to do the work. Everyone fills out the same application, so you distinguish yourself through the cover letter process.

Tyler first paycheck 2

When asked to do an article for the CLE newsletter to highlight a career student’s employment experience it was a no brainer for me on who to pick. Tyler has been employed with TJ Maxx for just a month now, but has stepped into his new role with the tenacity of a seasoned employee. Tyler agreed to do an interview with me regarding his experience as an employee at TJ Maxx, giving me a better sense of what a new job looks like for an individual on the career development pathway.

Ethan Mendick

Ethan started working at Best Friends Pet Care on October 10th, 2014. His role is a Play Time Associate where he takes care of both cats and dogs at the facility.

“I had another job before Best Friends, but I was working there alone for many hours.” Ethan began looking for a new job with the help of Rockville’s Career Development Coordinator, Jacky Cohen. “Even before I had the job, I practiced for the interview with Jacky. She came with me for the interview and for my first day at the job.”

The post Volunteer for Success: Why volunteering is essential for the development of your career path appeared first on College Living Experience | CLE | Choose Your Future.