“The illiterate of the 21st century will not be those who cannot read and write but those who cannot learn, unlearn, and relearn."
– Alvin Toffler

Volunteering and Your Path to Employment

Giving back to the community is one of the best things a person can do.  Whether you’re donating your money, your time, or your resources, helping the underprivileged is one of the most rewarding things a person can do. True generosity is easy to detect, and it’s natural that such positive actions are greeted with an equally positive reaction. Primary Services takes special notice of those willing to donate their time, a trait that our clients value as well.

As you make plans to give back this holiday season, you may also keep your personal goals in mind at the same time. Working with the right people for the right causes can help grow your professional circle and add meaningful experience to your resume. With 67 percent of people reporting that they rarely or never volunteer their time to charity, volunteering gives you a unique opportunity to stand out while also doing something good.

The Reason for the Season

The winter holidays are the perfect time to start volunteering for many reasons.  At its core, the season is about giving back and spreading good fortune to those in need.

While the majority of those who donate their time are apt to do so year-round, 81 percent of people who volunteer do so during the holidays, and that includes working professionals. Beyond simply embracing the spirit of the season, many professionals choose to make the most of their time off by catching up on their charitable interests. By joining potential contacts in an activity that’s near and dear to their heart, you gain an invaluable opportunity to make a more meaningful connection than you would at a more conventional networking event.

Growing Through Giving

At Primary Services, when reviewing the history of a potential job candidate, we take their values into careful consideration. One of the best ways for job seekers to garner attention and achieve their professional goals is through volunteer efforts that compliment and enhance your prior experience and future goals. According to an expansive 10-year study by the Corporation for National and Community Service, job seekers who volunteer are 27 percent more likely to gain employment than non-volunteers.

Along with the obvious benefits to your community, a strong volunteer record also provides other advantages, including:

  • Networking Opportunities – When you volunteer your time to worthy causes, chances are you will be doing so in good company, and now more than ever, the key to finding a job is networking. Volunteering affords you a unique opportunity to build relationships with people in your desired industry. These contacts may refer you to a potential employer, recommend you for an existing position, or be in a position to hire you.
  • Personal Growth – As much as volunteering does for your resume, what it does for your personal character is even more valuable. Working solely for the benefits of others can also instill an invaluable sense of humility and empathy. Learning to prioritize the needs and concerns of others makes you both a better person, it makes you a stronger, more charismatic leader.

Aligning Causes with Goals

Giving back is always a positive action. but depending on your professional goals, working for some causes may highlight your strengths more than others to guide you in your selection, we’ve listed a few charities and how you can both contribute and gain from giving back:

  • Energy Sector – BPMS 150: Biking 150 miles from Houston to Austin takes drive, discipline, and strength, all of which are traits that employers look for. As such, the MS150 is a popular charity for many of Houston’s premier energy sector employers including BP, Halliburton, Noble, Hess, and NRG. The MS150 appeals to a wide variety of working professionals; members of the Primary Services recruitment team also participate in the annual ride and enjoy meeting fellow participants. In addition to its widespread popularity, the BPMS150 is an important fund raiser for research into Multiple Sclerosis, an autoimmune disorder that currently effects over 400,000 people nationwide.
  • Management and Leadership – Habitat For Humanity: Few things convey ambition and leadership better than building something from scratch. Constructing homes for the underprivileged is a rewarding challenge that gives you the unique opportunity to work on a task with a diverse group of people. In particular, the financial industry values Habitat For Humanity’s efforts, with high-profile sponsorships coming from Citi, JP Morgan and Bank of America.
  • Marketing and Communications Local Nonprofits – Using your media savvy and creative abilities to help smaller charities reach a larger audience is a great way to stand out in a crowded field. Giving a bigger voice to smaller causes displays talent. It also sets your talent and ambition apart from any competition in a profound way. One nonprofit that Primary Services has the pleasure of working with is Change Happens, an organization that provides meaningful outreach and education to at-risk individuals right here in Houston.

An All-Around Better You

Any experience that makes you a more well-rounded individual will contribute to your employability, and make you the kind of candidate that Primary Services likes to work with. By aligning both your skills and your values with those of your desired industry, the only thing standing between you and your goals is your network, and that is precisely where Primary Services helps.

Build your network, your resume, and your community: include volunteering in your holiday plans and begin the new year a better you.