Volunteering is a great way to become acquainted with a new community, meet people, and network for job opportunities. Whatever your interest or skill, whatever your availability, there is a rewarding way to get involved in your community.
Tips to help you find a rewarding volunteer position:
1. Assess your interests, skills and time availability. Consider your primary motivation for considering a volunteer position. Do you want to:
2. Search the volunteer opportunities in your area through the local volunteer centre. If there is not a volunteer centre, you can find information about local non-profits through a community centre, library or visitor centre. While searching, consider how the position descriptions match your motivations and interests identified in Question 1.
3. Meet with the coordinator of volunteers at two-five agencies of interest. This is a chance for you to get a feel for the organization and the people in it. Consider how well-organized their volunteer program is:
4. Remember the key to a successful volunteer placement is the match between you and the organization you volunteer for. Narrow down your search to the one agency or program you want to give your time to and fulfill your commitment with the same professionalism you would a paid job.
5. Take advantage of any opportunity for training or professional development. Keep track of your hours and contacts you make during your volunteer placement. And most of all, enjoy yourself!
Volunteer centres, as mandated by Volunteer Canada, maintain information about volunteer placements within the community and can help you find a position that matches with your talents and schedule. They also are great resources for general community information.
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