January 20, 2018

Volunteer and figure out your career path

Volunteer and figure out your career path - Photo courtesy of Dave Kelly

To figure out which career field you’re passionate about, it’s simple: you must first do some work in fields that interest you. Consider setting aside at least 100 hours for volunteer/community service work, perhaps on the weekends. Volunteer for organizations that are involved in at least a few of the fields in which you’re interested. Volunteering allows you to obtain valuable experience and meet contacts in new job fields. It also helps you to figure out if a particular field really is for you, and it gives you the chance to evaluate job environments without making a long-term commitment. Finally, it gives you the opportunity to see people in action on the job.

Employees you work with can tell you the details about their jobs. They may let you know if the job is rewarding or if they watch the clock and can’t wait to go home. By volunteering, college students can build a growing network to begin a job search while enhancing their credibility and resumes.

Volunteer positions are available at an array of nonprofits and in almost every industry. Consider volunteering in fields such as:

  • Marketing
  • Event coordinating
  • Donation coordinating
  • Finance
  • Managing databases
  • Website designing
  • Program directing
  • Human resources
  • Project management
  • Media relations
  • Hospitals
  • Specialty health facilities
  • Nursing homes
  • Classroom assistance
  • Education formal instruction
  • Education mentoring
  • Classroom aide preschool
  • Head Start centers
  • Helping animals
  • Helping the environment
  • Archaeology
  • Child and youth services
  • Disability services
  • Gardening
  • Tutoring
  • Food services
  • Helping senior citizens
  • Customer service
  • Libraries


If you want to help others and get into a growing field, considering volunteering in healthcare. The healthcare field provides a variety of ways to help those who need it the most. College students have more than 80 healthcare occupations to choose from. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) expects the healthcare field to create more new jobs than any other field. If you’re seeking a personally and financially rewarding career, consider the healthcare industry.

Volunteering Leads to a Job

Turning volunteer time into a job requires an evaluation of which organizations are most likely to help your career and which volunteer positions will help you connect your volunteer time to a job. Combining your heart’s desire with a strategic appraisal of your options may lead to a rewarding job. Volunteer for a position that allows you to express your passion and your skills. Organizations such as Volunteermatch and Idealist.org can help you find a rewarding volunteer position. A lot of people seeking a career path find opportunities at organizations like these. Volunteering can definitely help you discover your passion!

About the Guest Blogger: Brian Jenkins writes about a variety of topics for those interested in the allied health field, including careers in surgical technology, for the Riley Guide.


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