There is a saying that goes, it is better to give than to receive. This is a biblical quote that sums up what it means to be of service. In this blog I want to discuss the importance of being of service and how it could help your child, student or even anyone build and grow their resume. First, I would like to share my story of how I landed my first job as a teenager and how I ended up growing my career from volunteering and helping someone.
I was only fifteen years old when I started going to visit a friend of mine who worked at what I thought was regular office building. I used to go to her office every day after school just to say hello. One day, she asked me to help her with some of her work. She had me making phone calls, organizing files and stuffing envelopes (fun right)…lol. I did this for about six months. Then…one day, she came to me and said “there is a summer camp located in the building and that they were looking to hire summer camp counselors, are you interested?” I told her that I had no idea that there was a summer camp in the building and yes I am interested. She was able to get me an interview and long story short, I got the job. I ended up moving up in the company being promoted to other jobs throughout the organization over the next sixteen years.
How was I able to find such a great opportunity at such a young age? I did eight key things that can be duplicated by anyone reading this, especially youth looking to build their resume and gain new skills that will make them attractive and marketable in the career world. Today I will share three my top three.
One: Be of service. Think about people you know who have jobs and ask if they need help. If you do not know anyone, that is fine. There are plenty of organizations who could use volunteers. To begin, search for organizations on websites such as www.nycservice.org where they list various volunteer opportunities and select one that is a great fit for you.
Two: Treat your volunteer opportunity like a paying job. Yes, this opportunity is not something you are going to be paid for. However, in the end, it is a great possibility that the organization could hire you. With this in mind, treat this as if you are a paid employee. Be professional, show up on time and lastly, be the best volunteer they ever had by over delivering. What does this mean? This could mean showing up earlier, staying late, or asking for additional job duties if you know you can successfully do them within your regular job duties. These things will assure that the organization you are volunteering for will remember you and think of you if and when a paid opportunity comes available.
Three: Be intentional. What I mean by this is that you should not volunteer with an organization with the expectation of them offering you a paid position. When you volunteer, do it because you truly want to and you are interested in helping the organization. If you do it just for a reward, that will show through your work. When you are intentional, you will go above and beyond because it is something you want to do. Others will see this and you will be rewarded. Your reward will come in various ways. One reward will be the added skills and knowledge gained from the volunteer experience. These additional skills will be of use for future volunteer or job opportunities. Most importantly, you will now be able to build or grow your resume which will allow you to apply for employment or other volunteer opportunities. Getting hired would be the icing on the cake.