A couple of days ago, I read an article written by Jeff Haden that first appeared on LinkedIn. It was titled: Why Everyone Should Do A Little Work For Free. Jeff Haden was clearly referring to employed people. But his idea also applies to job searchers.
Here is my take on how job searchers can benefit from working for free. In this case, it can be called volunteering. When you volunteer for someone who needs your help, it’s a win, win for both you and them. They get something done that they can’t pay for, and you get more than time well spent.
· You keep your skills current. Instead collecting dust on the unemployment shelf, you are using your skills. Your résumé: you are working; it fills the gaps on your résumé.
· You learn a different software, method, or more skills that you didn’t have. Your résumé: you have added skills.
· You learn how your skills fit in different organizations. If you were in a manufacturing company and you volunteer in a non-profit, you have experience in non-profits. Your career: you have new opportunities in a new industry.
· You meet new people. It is said that over 85% of all jobs are obtained by networking. Your network: you are expanding your network by meeting people who know other people.
· You feel good about yourself. There is something about helping others that makes you feel good. Your mental state: you feel productive and happier.
So you see, volunteering is a win, win. And you are getting the most from the experience. However, volunteering isn’t all about you getting a job, it’s about you doing something good for someone else. That is the most fundamental reason for volunteering. Don’t lose sight that you are making life better for someone else. Concentrate on what you are doing for them, not how it’s helping you. The universe knows when you are doing something selfish and will pay you back in kind.