There are over 170,000 non-profit organizations currently registered in Canada and every year they require millions of hours of volunteer labour. The types of jobs they need filled could be anything from manual labour to office clerical work to marketing and beyond. These jobs are crucial, as they drive the organization's main purpose and create awareness of the social issue they are trying to address. Not to mention, it’s a great way to fill up the old resume.
You may ask; why should I give up my time for nothing? Isn’t my time more valuable than that? The answer to those questions is simple; because you care, and there is more to value than money. You care about the world. Most people say that students go to either university because their parents forced them to, or because they want more money, but I have found that most of us have passion in our lives, and it’s that kind of passion that we need to bring to these organizations.
Using myself as an example, I currently volunteer in numerous capacities; I am a writer for the bolt, the management representative for the CSA, the President of the CBA, a student ambassador for Concordia, a volunteer for the Human Resources Institute of Alberta, on the board of directors for Northern Alberta Cooperative Housing Association and the LGBT Chamber of commerce, and probably a couple other positions that I may have missed. Now that may seem like a lot, however they a rarely take place together, and often complement each other. They offer me a sense of accomplishment when I’m involved in the achievements of these groups, and they provide me with amazing opportunities to network. I can’t say how many times I’ve been given job and career opportunities just for participating. For those of you looking for a practicum next semester or even next year, volunteering is a great place to start. You can even find paid positions within these organizations that may not be advertised to the general public.
So out and make those connections, and follow your passion. And if you don’t know what your passion is, this is a great place to start! And don’t forget to make room in your calendar for the Concordia Business Associations Annual Business Conference on March 7th, 2014, which will offer even more opportunities for you to network and meet professionals in the industry, plus a speaker and full dinner! Hope to see you then!