How Volunteerism Can Help Kickstart Your Career

How Volunteerism Can Help Kickstart Your Career

Sometimes it can be hard to get your first break.

Building credibility is one of the biggest challenges we face in the job market. When we’re first starting out, we often lack the experience necessary to get our foot in the door at the big companies we desire to work for.

According to a study by Millennial Branding and, “More than 70% of hiring managers say colleges are only ‘somewhat preparing’ students to enter the working world.” The ability to think critically, innovate, solve complex problems, and work well in a team are what employers say is missing.

One of the best strategies to building credibility early on is volunteering.

Beyond being a personally gratifying and rewarding experience, volunteer work can do wonders for your resume. It’s a testament to your character, helps you build a new skill set, and allows employers to connect to you on a more personal level.

Having a way to track these experiences is crucial, which is why Kelly Lovell, the founder of My Effect, has created a platform designed to help you build your impact resume, so you can showcase leadership and volunteer work.

Lovell and I caught up on this week’s podcast episode, where she shares about the platform, how it’s getting the attention of companies, like the Clinton Global Initiative, and how her past experiences with bullying inspired her to get started.

Lovell was drawn to create this technology because of the profound impact volunteering has had on her own life. She shares, “Volunteering equipped me with the experiences and skills I was missing to attract the supporters I needed. It was through volunteerism [that] I was able to understand my abilities because there is no pressure.” Adding, “You can try different things and if you are not good at it you can try something else. You really have a blank slate and through that blank slate I got to understand who Kelly was.”

My Effect’s technology allows volunteers to automatically track their impact: the hours you’ve spent, the number of people you’ve helped, and the dollars you’ve raised, all on one interface.

Lovell has found that organizations want to be able to see personal characteristics of their employees, beyond just their GPA or traditional resume. Prospective employees also want to know the company they work for is doing social good. My Effect’s goal is to host a community impact and engagement platform to capture that.

In today’s world, taking action for positive social change is no longer optional. Getting behind issues like helping the environment, ending poverty, fighting injustice and inequality is becoming the new standard. In reaction, companies are upgrading their business models, by donating a portion of proceeds to important causes or practicing sustainability, while individuals are being asked to evaluate their choices in where they spend their money and time.

In time where it is becoming increasingly relevant for businesses to consider public welfare in their models, volunteer work is a sought-after component on any resume.

In the spirit of National Volunteer Week, now is a great time to seek out opportunities to get involved. You’ll grow as a person, contribute to an important cause, and begin to build the experience you need to help you stand out and land your dream job.

Kelly says, “I find that volunteerism isn’t just a way to give back and make a difference in community. There is a lot of personal development and skill building that can benefit any entrepreneur from any age and profession.”

How will you get involved and advance your next career move?

This article was originally published on Forbes