Volunteering

Can't find a job because you don't have experience?

Can't get experience because you can't get a job?

Volunteering can help you get started!

Volunteers get more money.

Volunteers get more jobs.

Volunteers get more skills.

(from South Lakeland Volunteer Centre)

How to start volunteering.

The same people on your networking list can help you find volunteering work. Your willingness and enthusiasm to help is important for any career you might choose.

Youth Volunteer Network is a great web site where you can search for volunteer opportunities in your community, get involved in issues you care about, read about the experiences of youth who volunteer and, once you've done some volunteering, share your own stories.

You can also try Volunteer Centers of Washington to connect with some volunteer opportunities in your area.

How to Volunteer where you really want to work

You should approach the place as if you were looking for paid work. Dress appropriately and be ready to do an interview. If you can demonstrate your skills and willingness to work as a volunteer you'll be first in line when a job comes up. Why would the employer look around for someone when they have a good worker right there who already knows how things work? If you do a good job you'll at least get a good reference from a company in your area of interest. At best you'll get a job at your favorite place.

A few more notes

It's ok to volunteer because you need work experience. People volunteer for all kinds of reasons. If you get a paid job and need to quit volunteering be sure to give the people some notice you'll be quitting as soon as you can. You don't want to put anyone in a bind, but at the same time, you don't want to volunteer if it's no longer meeting your needs.

Did you know that 15.5 million youths between the ages of 12 and 18 volunteer in this country every year?

In fact youth volunteer at twice the rate of adults (55 percent of young people volunteering, compared with only 29 percent of adults).