March 20, 2023 2 min read

The Challenge

This semester you've been pushing yourself past your limits, working a part-time job while putting yourself through school. Now you're starting to feel burnt out, as if the candle has completely melted and there's nothing left. With a break on the horizon almost here, you're looking forward to sleeping in, unplugging, and reconnecting with family and friends you haven't seen much of since the semester began. Before leaving, your professor challenged everyone to find a volunteer opportunity to help round out your resumes.

Where to Start?

Your first step should naturally be to search for a website like Charity Village where volunteer roles are posted. This will allow you to see the current opportunities available in your area(s) of interest. Another possibility is to look at your city or town website to see if they post volunteer needs. A good example is Markham.ca, a city in the GTA, lists volunteer opportunities under Aquatics, Culture, City Special Events, Environment/Sustainability, Markham Public Library, and Recreation. If you love swimming, then aquatics might be an outstanding category to consider. In virtually every instance, you can apply online and submit your name for an interview.

The Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC)

Volunteering is more complex than picking a place and walking in when you have free time. Before you can start, there are agreements to sign, policies to read and an orientation session to attend. In many cases, organizations ask for a background check called a Vulnerable Sector Check (VSC) or Vulnerable Sector Screening (VSS) from local law enforcement. According to the RCMP, this check protects people who, because of their age, disability, or other circumstance, are more vulnerable than others. The cost of the (VSC or VSS) varies depending on whether you are a student/volunteer or if you choose to apply online or in person. Visit your local law enforcement web page to see which category you fall under and get an idea of the cost.

Priceless

After receiving your vulnerable sector check, it's time to circle back about open volunteer opportunities. Are you interested in an administrative role or a physically demanding one? Do you want to help young children learn to swim or be a role model for young adults? Do you want to play games with elders with cerebral palsy or help immigrants learn English as a second language? You may be fluent in sign language and want to work with people learning to communicate through signing. You must be honest about your talents and pursue volunteer opportunities that appeal to and allow you to leverage those talents to help others. Sherry Anderson once said, "Volunteers don't get paid, not because they're worthless, but because they're priceless."

The Missing Piece

Just as your professor suggested, volunteering will look great on your resume, but it is so much more than that. Volunteer opportunities are an excellent way to help your community while also presenting a chance to learn about different roles, explore interests, and discover new possibilities. These experiences will help you determine if this career is something you should pursue or if you need more time to find the missing piece.


Related Content

Skills For Success
Skills For Success
The Choice is Yours
The Choice is Yours


Also in Blog

Career Tips for Marketing Students: Overcoming Perfectionism
Career Tips for Marketing Students: Overcoming Perfectionism

July 08, 2024 4 min read

In a perfectionist’s eyes, their work is never good enough, so they refine, edit and redo sections repeatedly to meet their incredibly high standards. A perfectionist may have a singular creative vision, but they get stuck focusing on perfecting minor details, and in the end, their vision is in limbo.
Lessons Learned: Insights from Emerging Professionals
Lessons Learned: Insights from Emerging Professionals

June 21, 2024 3 min read

Whether you've learned how to approach complex tasks and sensitive situations or navigate the many successes flanked by occasional failures, there have certainly been lessons to learn from.
It's a Calling: Career Advice For Young Marketers
It's a Calling: Career Advice For Young Marketers

June 10, 2024 3 min read

Marketing is about using creativity and strategy to tell compelling stories, drive engagement, and, ultimately, make a difference. My approach ensures authentic and ethical representation of brands because, for me, marketing is more than a profession; it's a calling.