5 ways volunteering can help your career

One of the key components of the Lapid Leaders Experience is Community Service. Community Service for a good cause changes lives, but it does not just benefit the people you’re helping. Beyond the reasons we have listed in this blog on Community Service being a tool that the African continent needs to embrace in order to progress, volunteering can also further the career of the person that’s serving the community.

Here’s how community service can help boost your career in ways you might not have expected.

It’s a Chance to Network

Friendships are formed

Friendships are formed, a side effect of Community Service

Morine Kuria is the President of the team responsible for delivering the Learning Labs Experience. As part of this role, she was required to develop a plan on how we would implement the Community Service Experience for Cohort 3. Through this, Morine Kuria, has met people that she otherwise never would have met. In addition, as the teams are serving the communities, they form strong bonds and develop good friendships. These friendships could be a big benefit by expanding your network of contacts. This is a good side effect of the Community Service work.

You Could Discover Your Passion

Olive Njeri is one of the graduates of Cohort 2. As part of the Experience, she volunteered with one of the local prisons. Her diligent work led to the organization she was volunteering with, Nafisika Trust, offering an internship with the organization. She never expected that to happen.

Olive’s story is not uncommon. There are many examples of people who have turned their volunteer experience into a satisfying job.

One of the Community Service Leaders making a presentation at a past event

One of the Community Service Leaders making a presentation at a past event

Gain working experience

Many graduates are always complaining about how employers are keen on work experience yet as a fresh graduate it is unlikely that you would have any work experience. However, what many graduates do not seem to realise, is that many hiring managers take notice of any volunteer work and count it for work experience. This is especially beneficial to anyone who has been unemployed but volunteered while searching for a job.

Eugene Ng’ang’a, a Cohort 1 graduate, conducted her Community Service at Transform Nations. The experience allowed him the opportunity to be part of the working environment and gain the skills that the workplace needs, while still at school. At the end of the experience, Transform Nations commended Eugene Ng’anga for the quality of his work and gave him a recommendation letter.

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It takes a lot of organisational skills to pull off many of our Community Service Events

This will serve him well when he starts job-hunting. Research has shown that potential employees who volunteer have a 27 percent better chance of being hired than people who don’t volunteer. A survey conducted by Deloitte indicated that 81% of hiring managers feel volunteer experience is valuable, according to the Deloitte Volunteer Impact Survey. Despite that, the same survey indicated that only 46 percent of college students felt volunteering would help them land a job.

It turns out volunteers aren’t sharing their experience in their resumes. This represents a missed opportunity.

You’ll Learn New Skills

Employers also value volunteering efforts because they engage employees and help them build new skills. There are no shortages of nonprofit organizations in Africa. With many nonprofits short-staffed and lacking resources, there are a number of potential tasks out there.

Every new skill you pick up is a chance to improve and expand your personal branding. You may not be paid, but you will receive valuable hands-on experience that you can take ownership in.

You’ll Grow as a Person

One of the Lapid Leaders at a past event

One of the Lapid Leaders at a past event

Volunteering makes most people happier in life and improves their mental health. A study found volunteers have a 20 percent lower risk of death than people who don’t volunteer. Being happier in life can have a huge impact in your “real” job and ensure you do not get burned out. increasingly, organisations are setting apart a Volunteers Day for its employees so as to allow them the privilege of giving back to the community.

This is based on the assessment that shows that the disposition and energy levels of employees after volunteering improve, while the risk of burnout decreases. Happiness makes the day-to-day work more enjoyable.

Make Volunteering Work

The most important thing when choosing how and where to volunteer is to find something you’re passionate about. At Lapid Leaders we continue to provide opportunities for you to contribute to the society’s progress while developing as an individual. Join the tribe, be part of the next cohort and become the change you wish to see in our society.

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