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MICHAEL STUPARYK/torstar news service
Pounding the cold streets of the city, looking for a job can be disheartening. But one way to keep your spirits up is to give back to the community. Perhaps you’re out of work and want to make connections or you just want to do something good for the new year. Whatever the reason, volunteering can be rewarding.
"People volunteer for all sorts of reasons. One of those reasons is to improve one’s curriculum vitae," says Wesley Normington, a volunteer recruitment coordinator at Youth Assisting Youth (YAY). "In the context of being a YAY youth mentor, the volunteer can build upon their communication, interpersonal and leadership skills. It also shows employers you are committed, reliable and consistent."
Not only does volunteering help keep your spirits up, Lara Tavares, executive director of Sky’s the Limit Youth Organization, says it also helps build relationships, discover new skill sets, and interact with like-minded individuals.
"If you are uncertain about the kind of work you want to do or think you may be successful at volunteering can help you to narrow your focus," says Tavares. Sky’s the Limit raises funds to purchase refurbished computers which are placed directly into under-resourced students’ homes.
At YAY volunteers can participate in their Tri-Mentorship program where youth mentors are paired with older mentors in their career field of choice. These older mentors can impart job advice and networking opportunities.
So how do you get started?
Tavares suggests beginning your search for a satisfying volunteer position online on a website like Charity Village (www.charityvillage.com). "You may also want to contact the organizations you are interested in helping directly and asking if there are any volunteer opportunities available," she says. "Organizations will often work with you to find something for you to do that you will find both interesting and rewarding."
Volunteering can be a huge helps with your career.
"Being a volunteer can build upon their communication, interpersonal and leadership skills," says Normington. "It also shows employers you are committed, reliable and consistent."
|more on volunteering|
|•For more information about volunteering visit www.charityvillage.ca, www.STLonline.orgor www.yay.org.|