Volunteering Will Pay You Back in Dividends

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I know what you're going to say - you need a job that pays and volunteering doesn't cut it. I understand where you're coming from. When I graduated college, I panicked over my job search as well. It can be a frustrating and isolating experience, but realize you are not alone. Everyone is in the same boat and that's why I suggest volunteering. If you're low on cash but want to help, donating your time is priceless. During the recession, companies across the country need you more than ever.

If you invest your time into something you are passionate about, you will not stress about the never ending job search. I think you will enjoy waking up each day with purpose and be grateful that you are helping someone or your community as a whole. I am sure you think that searching for a job is time-consuming and therefore you must commit countless hours a day to your search. First, let's reflect. How is your search going? Are you feeling aimless? If so, I suggest conducting an internet search on volunteering and find something that you are passionate about. The first site I found was volunteermatch.org. You can type in your city and interests and you will receive a list of places that need volunteers like you. If you want to help but would rather do so from the comfort of your home, volunteers are needed! Who knew it could be so easy? There's a section on the site called "Virtual Opportunities" - what a great way to get started.

When I conducted an internet search, many great Web sites appeared. I recommend conducting a search and finding a site that suits you. If you like using social media, try dosomething.org. You can sign up for text alerts of opportunities, as well as Twitter and Facebook groups. I also like charityguide.org because it tells you how you can make a difference in 15 minutes (reducing junk mail - yes, please!), a few hours and on vacation. I never realized how much can be done in so little time. Trust me, you will forget about your job worries and doubts and will be engrossed in helping.

Now that I've given you the tools, I hope you take my advice. In my experience, not only does volunteering make me feel better but it gives me something great to talk about during interviews. Maybe you will meet someone volunteering who is looking for a new employee. It is true that you never know where your next opportunity will be. Don't miss out.

By: Amy Muldoon
Amy Muldoon graduated from Penn State University in 2005 and worked in corporate public relations for three years before returning to graduate school at Holy Family University to become a secondary English teacher. Her strengths include: drafting speeches, writing talking points for media interviews, making corporate presentations, and writing for publications.

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