How to Find Volunteer Work That Leads to a Paid Job
Locating the right opportunity, or creating one, could ultimately lead to a paycheck.
As I recently wrote on Next Avenue, a volunteer position can help you land a paying job. But how do you select a volunteering position and an organization or company where you can find the fulfilling opportunity that could lead to a job?
Visit websites that list volunteering opportunities. A few excellent ones are: Volunteermatch.org, Encore.org, Idealist.org, Createthegood.org, Serve.gov, Unitedway.org (click on the button labeled "Volunteer"), Seniorcorps.gov (for people 55 and older), and Escus.org (for executives and professionals).
Create your own opportunity. If you feel passionately about a cause, want to build toward a paid career in this area, but can’t find a local organization to get you going, start your own. You might do this by partnering with an existing group that could benefit from your services. For example, if you care about teaching low-income children about dental care, you could partner with an inner city dental clinic to launch a school-based dental education program.
Volunteer to write for industry publications. This is a great way to immediately position yourself as an expert. Research and writing takes time, but a well-crafted article seen by the right people can turn into a calling card for prospective employers.