Most people volunteer for the purpose of giving back to the community and although this is the main reason for volunteering, it can also have the additional benefit of improving your career prospects.
If there is a specific industry or role you want to explore, but you don’t have the relevant experience, it can be very difficult to get your foot in the door and this is where volunteering can help. Particularly in the field of events management where there are lots of opportunities to get involved. Volunteer work is just as valuable as any other, so if you gain experience in your chosen field in this way, it means you’ll have more chance of being invited for an interview. It’ll develop you personally, improve your CV, and give you more relevant things to talk about at an interview.
These are some of the ways in which voluntary work can help you break into your dream events career.
Gain relevant experience
It’s difficult to get experience if no one will give you a break, but if you gain experience relevant to your chosen career through volunteering, it will really enhance your prospects. Volunteer work covers a wide spectrum of roles and industries, so regardless of what you are interested in, you are bound to find opportunities which meet your needs. Not only this, but it can give you that extra drive and passion to pursue your dream career. Or you may find that it doesn’t end up being what you thought!
Volunteering to work on events (be it charity events, public events or corporate events) will not only give you valuable hands on experience of particular tasks, but will also help you understand the bigger picture, who does what, how all the different elements of events come together.
You’ll learn what you’re good at, and perhaps what you’re not so good at. And by having some relevant experience on your CV it will get more of a recruiters’ attention when you’re applying for jobs - particularly for those all important and over-subscribed entry level roles in events.
Build a network
Networking is one of the most valuable tools we have today, particularly for job seekers and by knowing the right people you can really enhance your prospects. Many contacts are those we gain throughout our working life but without experience in your chosen field, this can be difficult. Volunteering is a way to get round this, as it can be a way of exploring new networking opportunities, both personally and professionally within your chosen field. These contacts may be able to assist you in finding paid work. Impress them with your hard work and attitude while you’re volunteering and they’ll champion your cause in the future. You will find that by using platforms such as LinkedIn, you can be introduced to some new contacts through your current ones, to really broaden your possibilities further.
Volunteering is unpaid work, so if you have been willing to do this to get experience, it shows how much determination and motivation you have to embark on this particular career path. Employers are likely to be impressed that even though you may have never worked in this specific area, you have taken another path to make sure you get that experience. One of the main concerns employers have when hiring a candidate is whether or not they will stick around, but if you have pursued the work voluntary and still want to stick with that career, it will be a positive sign to employers.
Interviews are nerve wracking enough but if you don’t really have the right skills or experience for a job, it can be difficult to convince the interviewer that you are the perfect candidate! If you have experience you have built up through volunteering, you will feel more confident about the work you will be doing, which will come across during the interview. And you’ll have some actual work examples to refer to when answering questions - so you’ll be a much better interviewee - and much more likely to get that job!
So by volunteering not only will you contribute to your local community or a cause that really matters to you, you can also give your career a boost too. So why not start today … get started, and get involved!