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Here at Idealist, we’re big proponents of getting as much as possible out of a volunteer assignment.

There are plenty of ways volunteering can be a two-way street and we encourage our community of social-impact professionals to not only contribute their time, passion, and skills to causes that resonate, but to look for ways that the experience can benefit them, too!

Here are just a few of the ways that you may benefit from volunteer work:

Expand your network by connecting with new people

Direct service volunteerism can be, in some regards, the great equalizer. You never know who you’ll find beside you when you're guiding a group of eager seniors in a craft project or monitoring the silent auction tables at a big event. It could be your future employee, colleague, or boss, so don’t miss the opportunity to be friendly and professional.

Fill gaps on your resume

Whether you’re missing specific experience, or you’re currently unemployed, volunteering can fill some critical gaps on your resume. Need a few more successes on your resume before you talk to your boss about that promotion? Look for an organization that needs help in your area of expertise, or apply to be a pro-bono professional with an organization like Taproot or Catchafire.

Discover a new talent

If you’re willing to choose a wild card rather than volunteer for a cause with which you’re already familiar, you may just uncover an interest that you never knew you had. And, who knows where it could lead.

Question of the week: Have you ever had a volunteer assignment that turned into a paid job?

Of course, there are tons of ways to find value as well as personal and professional fulfillment in volunteer work, but this week, we have one question for you: Have you ever had a volunteer assignment that lead to paid work?

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Alexis Perrotta profile image

Alexis Perrotta

As the Associate Director of Marketing and Communications at Idealist and a lifelong nonprofit professional, Alexis offers job seekers, game changers, and do gooders actionable tips, career resources, and social-impact advice.

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