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Career Services

Volunteer

"If opportunity doesn't knock, build a door."
-Milton Berle
A volunteer works without pay-but not necessarily without other forms of compensation like having a needed role, respect, and presenting yourself as a "do-er." As a volunteer, you can stand out and attract support for moving closer to your goal. Volunteering strengthens your commitment and identifies you as someone with initiative and follow-through. Your efforts can help bring an idea, movement or profession into being and may impact your future career path more than you realize at the time.

Offering your help is based on desire, values, abilities and time commitments. Volunteers do whatever is needed and find that it is an opportunity to test out new skills and ideas in a relatively secure environment.

Getting yourself out there as a volunteer helps you develop skills for performing the job as well as job-hunting. Many employers want to hire students that have had volunteer experience. Companies often expect their employees to get involved in community service. Volunteer experience shows an employer you are motivated by more than money and that you can organize your time. Volunteers often work within a team. They learn to adhere to organizational policies and procedures and exhibit professional behavior. Some volunteer situations lead directly to job opportunities. Some give you the culture and environment you want to eventually work in and the connections with others that can lead to new places you might not have previously considered.

Volunteering enables you to further confirm your values, develop community, understand different ideas, cultures and people and learn more about yourself.

Strategies for Volunteer possibilities:
  1. Check out: CWU Civic Engagement Center http://www.takeactioncwu.com
  2. Make a list of all the volunteer activities that sound interesting. Identify those that seem possible in light of your current situation. Next, identify volunteer activities/organizations that have the most potential for you taking action and moving closer to your goals. Choose the actions and put them on a timeline. What is a realistic commitment for you?
  3. What positive memories do you associate with volunteering?

Everett, Melissa. Making A Living While Making A Difference, New Society Publishers, 1999
"Be the change you want to see in the world."
- Ghandi