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Use Job Skills to Volunteer

Many military spouses find volunteering to be a great way to build their job skills and improve their resume. Whenever you volunteer you are expanding the network of people that you know and you are broadening your own set of skills. Volunteering can be treated just like a job.

Make an effort to keep track of all the volunteering you do. PTA, charity work, literacy at the local library, managing Easter parades and fund-raisers. They all count! Jot down notes about the things you are doing and learning and keep them in a file. If the organization you are volunteering for has a job description of the role you are doing, get a copy of that, too, and add it to the file. All of these notes can be used later on to update your resume. Work is work β€” whether you are being paid for it or not.

Volunteering is extremely rewarding because it is a gift to your community. You are able to give your time to produce real changes and benefits for others. There is nothing more appealing. Many military spouses are highly trained but no longer work full time. Through volunteering you can stay current with your job skills while helping someone else at the same time.

As you are volunteering, you can purposely ask to be placed in jobs where you know you need to improve your skills. For example, if the organization has a website and you want to improve your computer skills, ask to work on the website β€” preferably with someone who can help teach you as you go. Volunteering is great because if you make a mistake, it’s usually not the end of the world and you can learn a great deal.

In summary, volunteering is a great networking and resume building tool, but that is not the reason to volunteer. As a volunteer you are giving the most precious gift there is β€” the gift of yourself and your time and this feels really good. Be warned, volunteering can be addictive!

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