Volunteering in the “Real World”
As graduations are beginning, a new era is marked. What are you going to be doing? Many of us graduates will be working on finding full-time employment, but what if you could take a break to both grow and realize what you really want to do in this real world? After graduation we are provided with a wide variety of choices: med school, grad school, law school, jobs, research, volunteering the list seems to go on for forever, but how do you choose what is best for you?
Post Grad Stats
The economic outlook on jobs is pretty bleak with only 49% of 2009-2011 graduates finding full-time jobs within one year of graduation, and an unemployment rate of 20 to 24 year olds with a bachelors degree of 6.4%. These statistics are encouraging more graduates to pursue a different path for their lives after college. There is one path in particular that I want to take the time to focus on: volunteering.
As many of our readers know, volunteering is an experience that can open many doors further down the road. In a recent study it was found that volunteers are 42% more likely to say that they are very happy. Not only are volunteers happier, but they are also gaining amazing resume skills and life experience. Once you decide to volunteer, how do you decide where is best?
Gap Year? Volunteer!
The New York Times recently published an article, A Gateway to a Career Through Volunteering. Within the article they suggest taking an inventory of all of your skills and strengths and use these when looking at what volunteer option is best. Eventually you will have to find that dubious real job, so while volunteering journal your experiences, lessons you’ve learned and the growth you have felt during your time away from the job world. The skills that you developed while giving back may give you a step up during your job search. So get going, volunteer, get a job and become a real person, I’m going to!