Very rarely do I post a blog related to my work, because that is SO NOT what this blog is about and could be considered a conflict of interest, but I have been thinking lately about volunteering and how so many people (of all ages) do not do it and yet complain like crazy when they can’t get work because they have no relevant or recent experience.
Now I am not talking about my client’s because that would be a huge breach of trust, I am talking more about the young people I know personally – outside of work who are required to get volunteer hours in to complete high school and who don’t put any kind of thought into it – or worse yet expect their parents to tell them where to volunteer and get them to arrange everything. How in the world are these children supposed to take care of themselves and fend for themselves, if they can’t possibly think outside the box and volunteer to build skills for change?
Surprisingly THIS makes my blood boil. As an employment case worker I am well aware of the stats of high school grads getting jobs (it sucks – big time) and those that have put in an effort to volunteer regularly, not just the required 40 hours have a MUCH higher percentage of finding stable, lasting work.
Who should be at blame here? The kids? The parents? The school? Everyone wants to blame the schools – it’s always the government’s fault, parents have no responsibility right? WRONG! A parent’s only job in life is to prepare their children to survive on their own, if they fail at that – they have failed as parents, at least in my humble opinion. Schools, play their role – believe me! However, they only have your kids for 5-8 hours a day and usually they are running around trying to make sure the kids have been successful with the education piece they will require to get a job in the future.
Why would a company care about someone who volunteers????
There are no dumb questions here (well maybe), but I’ll answer anyway…
Volunteering gives you skills you just can’t get from sitting at home playing video games, swimming at the beach or chilling with your friends! Skills such as leadership, problem solving, conflict resolution, communication, punctuality, adaptability, time-management and team work. These are just a few of the skills and qualifications MANY high-quality employers are not only looking for on the resume, but desire in an ideal candidate. And they want demonstrated experience here people, not just a statement on the resume.
I was on LinkedIn the other day looking through different people s LinkedIn pages (always creeping) and almost all of the PROFESSIONALS had one things in common on their page – they had volunteering listed. They may not volunteer now, many of these people, like me, are in their 30’s and 40’s and have full-time jobs, families and other responsibilities, but they did volunteer for hundreds of hours, many years and for countless non-profit organizations.
I am asking, begging, pleading with you to not forget those that need our help. Volunteer, get involved, and help out where it’s needed. Your resume and your career will thank you – trust me!