Does Being a Volunteer Help in Your Career? To give your career a take-off and gain experience join as a volunteer when you get a chance.

By Sania Gupta

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Isn't volunteering a social cause? You must be wondering if it can be of any help in escalating the career! Why are career coaches giving relevance to the act of being a volunteer in scaling up the career graph? Is it because they want to portray you an altruistic and conscientious person? The numerous reasons why volunteering is gaining so much credibility go beyond the fact of portraying you a nice person (though who wouldn't want to work with a nice soul!).

Working endless hours, sometimes in adverse conditions and no monetary gain or reward; is it even worth it? Yes, the satisfaction you derive out of selflessly working for others is no match. In addition to this, here is a list of benefits that accrue when you decide to work without remuneration.

1.Enhance your resume

Companies seek out for people who can work under all conditions and are compatible to work in all circumstances. Given that you have worked as a volunteer satisfy both the criteria. Hence, you stand a better chance at the upcoming interview. The resume enumerates that you are a nice soul who is congenial, compatible and selfless when you add your volunteering experiences.

Dr. Swati Gulati (MD, MS) says, "The prospective employees who have worked as a volunteer are more compatible to deal with patients' mood swings and tend to be more humble and down to Earth. We prefer hiring doctors who highlight the volunteer experiences in their resumes."

2. Networking

Networking comes as an added advantage as you come in contact with many people when you offer to volunteer. For example, if you volunteer in the field of healthcare services, you are likely to meet a lot of doctors, medical practitioners, patients and a whole network of people in this field. Isn't it an easy way to increase your contacts and links? So you will gradually have a whole web of influential contacts in your kitty when you volunteer.

Tushar Goyal, CEO of Vertigo Impex, proudly shares, "When I opted to volunteer for a business event in Delhi after my graduation, the links I made back then really helped me boost the sales of my startup. The experience of working on a new horizon amidst new faces was unfathomable. Meeting new people and garnering contacts have helped me change my outlook towards career and business," Swati also swears by the business contacts made in the process of volunteering.

3. A Wide Array of Skills

When you are working as a volunteer, you are likely to polish your existing skill set as well as acquire new skills and tact. You will be exposed to a variety of talented people, thereby, imbibing their good qualities. Apart from this, you get to rev up your teamwork skills, leadership, time management, problem-solving and adaptability. Also, you develop new fortes like using your second language, computer language or any other skill necessary to embark a new journey.

Sachin Aggarwal, Director at Share India Pvt. Ltd. imparts, "I learned the use of Metastock trader software while working as an ad-hoc volunteer. This enabled me to use the advanced technology in my start-up."

After all, it isn't too bad if you gain experience and knowledge without having to join professional courses. It's more like a hands-on experience while working. Tushar endorses the confidence he gained while volunteering and says that volunteering can help in brushing up your skills and self-confidence.

4. Effective Utilization of Time

Utilizing holidays or less stressful work periods by volunteering is an excellent way to garnish skills and assimilate knowledge. There is no better utilization of time and resources than holidays or slack work period. Shailesh Jain, Director-Operations at Girnar Global, emphasizes utilizing holidays to acquire soft skills by volunteering. He says, "I used my summer holidays, back in college, to work as a volunteer and build on my resume and problem-solving capacity. Every summer holidays, I picked up different jobs and this gave me a versatile experience of working in diverse sectors in a foreign land. Though there weren't any tangible returns, I learned a lot each term."

Last words- To give your career a take-off and gain experience join as a volunteer when you get a chance. The range of skills you acquire along with the satisfaction of helping others is no match. You'll polish your existing skill sets as well as uncover the hidden potential or even come to know of your heart's calling as to which stream would align with your personal goals. The satisfaction replaces the financial gains and you enter a new arena to emerge as a more confident and knowledgeable individual.
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Sania Gupta


Sania Gupta is also Founder and CEO, Digital Kangaroos, an author, entrepreneur, marketer and blogger. And as a career coach at My Study Destination, she has helped thousands of students realize their dreams.

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