All Articles Tagged "volunteering"
(Smart Money) — Restless with his part-time public relations job, Stephen Anfield, 30, began volunteering in the AARP’s Washington, D.C., office about a year ago. It wasn’t easy: On top of his 30-hour work-week, Anfield put in another 10 to 15 hours writing blog posts, making and printing PowerPoint presentations, and other office tasks. “It was like what you’d do at a typical job,” he says. But after six months, he found a new job – courtesy of a referral from an AARP staffer. “It’s not the typical way to get a job, but it worked for me.” With unemployment still at its one of the highest levels since the Great Depression, some job seekers are adding another tactic to their traditional job search: volunteering.
“It definitely is happening more,” says Dan Ryan, a staffing expert and panelist for the Society of Human Resource Management and a principal at staffing firm Ryan Search & Consulting. No one tracks volunteers’ motives precisely, of course, but after years of declines, volunteerism is up about 3% in the last three years – a small percentage, but one that represents an additional 2 million volunteers, for about 63 million American volunteers total. Many are passionate about a cause; others are just passing time. But some career coaches and recruiters are advising job-seekers to volunteer for more strategic reasons: It’s an outside shot at a full-time job. “Volunteering is a differentiator,” says R.J. Morris, the corporate director of staffing for McCarthy Building Companies, one of the largest commercial building firms in the U.S. “It shows initiative and that you’re active in your desired career field.”