I will not belabor the obvious by going on about how difficult it is to be unemployed.Â I read somewhere that the typical job hunt lasts about 33 weeks.Â That is a long time to be looking.Â It is also a lot of rejections.Â Like a slugger in a seemingly endless slump, the weeks can wear on you.
Yet, there are ways for you to cope with this â€œendlessâ€ job search.Â Hopefully, you are more focused on building a strong network and using solid research to identify where you want to work and what you want to do versus applying for any interesting ad or posting.Â As you build your community around you; take a moment and consider joining the community around you.
I can think of no better way to give back to the community than to volunteer.Â There are so many benefits to volunteering, the least of which is its contribution to your personal growth.Â But volunteering can also go a long way toward helping one find a job.Â By the way, I would suggest volunteering without the ulterior motive of trying to finagle access to a decision maker.Â Volunteer for its altruistic gesture.
Volunteering can benefit you in a number of ways:
- You can learn new, transferable skills.Â Becoming a volunteer for the Special Olympics may put you in position to help organize many events.Â You can develop planning, coordinating, and delegating skills.Â Or perhaps, in working as a fundraiser, you sharpen or learn new telemarketing skills.
- You may (or you may not) earn the gratitude of people connected within your community.Â Volunteering is hard work and for those who do offer their time and abilities, there is gratitude.Â The old clichÃ© is â€œwhat goes around comes aroundâ€ or the newest popular word is â€œkarma.â€Â
- There is something intrinsically good about helping those less fortunate or challenged.Â Wise people have always suggested we take care of our physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual selves.Â While most understand the need to be in good physical and mental health; some just do not devote enough energy to the other areas.Â Volunteering is good for the soul and a great way to care for our spiritual selves.
- You build a network in the most open and honest way. Â You do not volunteer to develop more networking contacts.Â Yet, you would be amazed how naturally the contacts come.Â And as you give to them, they will begin to want to help you â€“ even without asking.
- Imagine getting a referral from a nonprofit organizationâ€™s program manager â€“ it would be worth gold.Â Â
Despite that last statement, I really do suggest volunteering without an ulterior motive.Â If good things come, they come or not.Â You are volunteering because you want to give back to the community.
And really, if you are spending 33 weeks looking for job, what else are you going to do with your spare time?Â Â Do yourself a favor and volunteer.