Benefits Of Volunteer Experience And Internship


Why you should volunteer or intern

Volunteering has a wide range of benefits – self-discovery, self-esteem boost, exposure, opportunities for meaningful connections, and the warm and fuzzy feeling one gets from doing good and giving back.
Volunteering can give you an edge in your career.
Volunteering provides an opportunity to gain knowledge, skills, and experience even while waiting to be hired. You can also learn new ways to apply already existing skills. You can build relationships and expand your network of contacts. If you are looking to switch careers, it is an opportunity to test a career path, see if it is something you are really interested in or are cut out to do. Volunteering can show a prospective employer what your values are, and how well you work in a team. It can also be an indicator that you are committed and not afraid of hard work. At the very least, it is better than an empty space or a wide gap on your CV.
Volunteering can also lead to paid employment. Say you join an organization as a volunteer and you work hard and meet other criteria, you may get an offer of employment. That, or a very solid reference. So, instead of waiting around for a dream job, identify volunteer opportunities in that area and make yourself available to work.
Internships have the same benefits as volunteering, except that they mostly apply to students. Students who take on internships (and are deliberate about the opportunities they take) have an advantage over those who are fresh out of school with no kind of work experience whatsoever. Employers are more likely to consider people with experience to fill positions. An internship is a good way to get introduced to and familiarize yourself with the real world of work, and to test or validate career choices or options. It will help you decide if you should continue with your course of study or consider a different line. Or you could even take on additional courses and trainings. As an intern, you get the chance to practically apply all the knowledge you gained in the classroom.
Internships also provide opportunities to develop skills such as communication, time and people management, which are essential tools to have in the work place. They are opportunities to show potential employers your drive and initiative, since they are not always mandatory. In many cases, internships lead to permanent positions (this depends on performance and fit, of course), and it is a good way to get references and build a professional network.
Internships and volunteering are great ways to improve your chances in the job market, to build up your CV, and to learn valuable professional and personal lessons. They help you learn more about yourself and your chosen field of work. Instead of thinking of them as unpaid labor, think of them as an opportunity for self and career development. And you do not have to pay a dime!


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