Preparing for Post-COVID-19 Economic Uncertainty:
How to volunteer and create career opportunities
In these uncertain times, charitable organizations will need help – so will our careers
We have started into what is expected to be the largest economic decline since the Great Depression, according to the IMF. With economic shutdowns and millions of job losses around the world, many of us are wondering how secure our jobs are, and how the companies we work for will weather this crisis.
In uncertain times like this, it’s natural to focus on maintaining your salary and position and easy to lose sight of your longer-term career goals. Maybe this is our chance to do something really good for our careers and help our communities during a crisis.
Yes, you do, at any stage of your career, have something valuable to offer a charity
‘What can I offer?’, can be an intimidating question. Like any company, charities need people with all types of skills. More than that, regardless of age or career progression we can all offer: time, ideas, energy and influence.
4 things charity work has to offer
Gain work experience: Accelerate your career
How many jobs have you not applied for because you didn’t have the right experience? Many volunteer organizations are small; they need volunteers to step up and fill in whichever vacant role and perform a wide variety of tasks. Your current professional skills will probably get you in the door. I.e. Do you speak more than one language? You will probably be asked to translate, but perhaps you would like to try your hand at communications. If you show you’re willing, you could learn skills and gain experience, faster than you would in your paid career.
Expand your network: Make connections across industries
You will meet new people with a range of backgrounds and professions, and from every career level. Networking as a volunteer means that everyone you meet gets to see you working for something you are passionate about – and they share that passion. Recommendations and references from volunteer work, can be among the best.
Explore a passion without the risk of a career change
Volunteering gives you a low-risk way to explore an interest or a career change. Discover you’re not as passionate about wildlife conservation as you thought you were, or did the communications projects you tried, just not feel right? Try another department or another charity. There’s a lot of good to be done.
You will feel fantastic
Offering help and working for a cause you care about is uniquely satisfying and rewarding. Volunteering lets you feel a sense of connection to your community that not many people ever experience. It’s a certain way to meet like-minded people and make friends.
How to find volunteer opportunities: It’s easier than you think
I live in Switzerland. There are over 13,000 charitable organizations here. America? 1.4 million. It’s not World Wildlife Fund or bust. Wherever you live, you will find a charity that matches your interests. Think about causes you could get passionate about and research charities working in those areas. Once you have narrowed your list, see if you have any connections in the charity or just call them up and ask to talk to the Volunteer Coordinator.
You have a lot to offer and a lot to gain.
Good luck and thank you
More to come.