You make a living by what you get. You make a life by what you give.
Have you been wondering how you can get involved with your community, network, and gain valuable experience? Your question can be answered by volunteering! Becoming a volunteer is an easy way to grow professionally and personally.
For starters, volunteer experience is a great way to build resumes and cover letters. Volunteer experience shows employers that you offer more than just book knowledge. Also, volunteer opportunities offer an excellent way to network. The people you meet can easily become valuable future contacts. You can also gain marketable skills and experience. In short, volunteering is a worthwhile way to develop professionally.
Yet, volunteering is not just about professional growth. As Winston Churchill’s quote above points out, life is not just what’s on your resume. Volunteering is an easy way to actively participate in community issues that you care about. Weither helping a women’s advocacy group, or handing out water during a 5k charity race, volunteer to participate! If nothing else, volunteering just makes you feel good. There is no test or midterm grade associated with volunteering.
So, you know you want to volunteer but are not quite sure how to get started. You first want to pin down what kind of volunteer experience you are looking for. Here are some questions to ask: How much time can you give? What issues are you most interested in? How do you want help? Once you have answered these questions for yourself, it is time to seek out such volunteer opportunities.
UIC has just launched a website that makes it easy to search and sign-up for volunteer opportunities that fit your criteria. You can even upload a resume and log hours at UIC Volunteer Match site. Go to http://uic.volunteermatch.org/ to register for more information. Yet, Volunteer Match is not the only resource available. Below is a list of websites you can use to search for volunteer work as well.
Ok, so now you have a plethora of reasons and resources. Get out there and VOLUNTEER! You will not regret it!