As promised in part I, here is Option #2:
Most of us say we would volunteer if we just had time. Guess what? You now have the time! Besides being a good citizen, volunteering has tangible benefits for the job seeker:
- Motivation – by volunteering, you will need to get out of the house and keep a commitment. This forced scheduling can help you from spending all day indoors and surfing the web/watching reruns of “Jersey Shore”.
- Networking – there is that word again! Many times job seekers hide that they are unemployed, not wanting others to know that we are in the job hunt. This is the wrong tactic. When you are out of work, you need to get out and meet people. Additionally, by providing a service or assistance to an organization, many folks will be more willing to help you in your need. Think of it as you help me, I help you.
- Interviewing – How are you going to answer the interview question, “What have you been doing since you left XYZ, Inc.?” It is a question you are most likely going to be asked, why not provide yourself a solid answer: “I took the opportunity to volunteer at the local animal shelter in addition to networking and conducting my search.”
One caution about volunteering, 5-10 hours a week is good amount of time, but remember your top priority is still to find a job so don’t let this take over your life (unless you are trying to land a job at the particular organization!)