Volunteer to start your career

 

The first step in looking desirable to employers could be getting your hands dirty with a volunteer gig.
The first step in looking desirable to employers could be getting your hands dirty with a volunteering gig.

Entering your dream job—or even your dream job field—right out college has always fallen into Catch-22 territory:  How do you obtain job experience in a field you’ve never worked without someone hiring you to get that experience? Well, according to LinkedIn’s Career Expert and founder of WORKS, an online resource for career-minded young women, Nicole Williams says that the Millennials, the demographic group following Generation X born between 1983 and 2000, are currently writing the book on how to get that relevant experience.

Williams says that it’s all about volunteer work. Millennials are finding that many of the not-for-profit organizations that have seen funding evaporate with the recent economic woes have been offering positions to volunteers that go beyond trivial daily duties and are actually attached to real skill development.

“Volunteer opportunities are more challenging. They’re more interesting. They’re more strategic and they offer a lot more than what they did in the past,” says Williams. “There are a lot of fundraising positions, social media, marketing, public relations and website development positions. All of those positions would have been funded at a point in time, but now they’re not. So, the experience and the opportunities to learn have just increased exponentially.”

What she is seeing trending with the Millennials, who represent the largest number of the over 225 million LinkedIn members who have added the “Volunteer & Causes” field to their profiles, is that they are filling of these volunteer positions simultaneously while holding down their first jobs out of college.

“And, frankly, that’s pretty smart,” says Williams. “What’s happening is they’re getting a double hit in terms of exposure to new relationships that are hopefully going to lead to full-time employment in their desired field.”

Williams also makes clear that no cause is too small. If you can’t donate time to staffing a part-time position at an organization, she says: “Go out to your community. I was walking down the street in New York City and there’s a new “Clean It Up” initiative for the summer season. Yeah, you’re going to spend a day sweeping, but that’s not the point. You’re putting it out there that you’re taking the initiative to go out and find opportunities.”

According to Williams, employers are responding to seeing these experiences on resumes as hiring managers are “always looking for an affinity.” She believes that the volunteer work being done by this demographic illustrates that larger and possible global interests are on their mind, which could potentially align with the gatekeepers of your dream job.

Employers seem to be getting it, too. Williams states, “employers really do understand that the world of volunteering has really changed and there’s a high number of hiring managers that consider volunteer work part of the package when their assessing if this is the right person for the job.”



News
Entertainment
Sports
Lifestyle
Local

MAP: New York City Street Closures August 22,…

The Percy Sutton Harlem 5K and NYC Family Health Walk-a-thon and Pakistan Day Parade and Fair will cause traffic delays and street closures in New York City this weekend. Plan…

International

U.N. nuclear inquiry on Iran seen making slow…

The U.N. nuclear watchdog appears to have made only limited progress so far in getting Iran to answer questions about its suspected atomic bomb research, diplomatic sources said on Friday,…

National

Violence-weary Missouri town sees second night of calm

By Nick Carey and Carey GillamFERGUSON Mo. (Reuters) - The violence-weary town of Ferguson, Missouri, saw a second straight evening of relative calm on Thursday…

National

Journalist James Foley's parents, after call with pope,…

The parents of James Foley, the American journalist killed by Islamic State militants in Iraq, on Friday called for prayer and support to free the remaining captives held by Islamic…

Television

Recap: 'The Knick,' Season 1, Episode 3, 'The…

The third episode of Steven Soderbergh's "The Knick" finds Dr. Thackery (Clive Owen) meeting an old flame and other characters embracing self-destruction.

Music

Webcast: Watch Polyphonic Spree live on Sunday Aug.…

Polyphonic Spree singer Tim DeLaughter sits with Metro Music Editor Pat Healy for a chat and then the big band performs live. It begins on Sunday at 9:30 pm

Movies

Matthew Weiner on directing 'Are You Here' and…

"Mad Men" creator Matthew Weiner discusses his movie "Are You Here," his history writing comedy and the tiny movie he directed in 1996 you can't see.

Movies

Michael Chiklis on his football past and 'When…

Michael Chiklis remembers playing football in high school and how that prepped him to play a coach in "When the Game Stands Tall."

NFL

Fantasy football draft guide: How to draft your…

Many are wondering if we’re entering a new age in fantasy football drafting — one where running backs take a backseat.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Giants storylines to watch

The Giants have plenty to work on as they reach the dress rehearsal preseason game Friday night against the rival Jets.

NFL

Jets vs. Giants: 3 Jets storylines to watch

Metro looks at three Jets storylines to watch as they play the Giants Friday.

NFL

Giants expected to work Corey Washington into first-team…

The day of reckoning for the Giants' fringe players will fall upon them Friday night against the Jets.

Sex

Big weddings may lead to long-term happiness

Dreaming of a big wedding? A new study indicates that the longer your guest list, the happier you’ll be in the long run. l A…

Sex

Online dating for every generation

Frank Jackson and his mother Maggie are like lots of modern families: They have dinner together regularly, keep each other updated on their lives —…

Wellbeing

Going green could be the key to getting…

If we could just pursue the things that would actually make us happy, we could help the environment too, according to a New York researcher.…

Tech

Siren: A new dating app that puts women…

Online dating can be brutal, especially for single women. Noting that many women hate wading through inappropriate messages and photos, two tech entrepreneurs decided to…