Make Your Mark on the World: Make sure you have what you need to volunteer

Hello, hello, my readers. Did you know that more unemployed are turning to volunteering in light of the United States’ poor economic health? You can see these articles here and here. I think it’s a great way to spend all that free time, and they’re adding to their resumes while searching for work!

This is the fourth post in my Make Your Mark series on how to start your volunteering journey with ease. Whew, I apologize for the delay, but it’s here! I’ve had a terrible headache today, but I’ll do my best.

The other three posts of the series focus on:

Volunteering is indeed a painless and easy process, but in order to communicate information between you and your prospective supervisor and make it an even easier process, you’ve gotta have some of the tools listed here

For virtual volunteering specifically… you will want some medium of primary communication (usually suggested by the organization) Internet access, a telephone or a cell phone are the most preferred ways. I’ve yet to see any volunteer jobs that require you communicate by snail mail or human messengers so I would stick to the former three!

You may also need a scanner or an image editing program in case you are emailed applications that must be signed. Some may do this by mail, but it seems a rarity these days.

For regular ol’ local volunteering… you’ll need items that match whatever position you’re working under! This is common sense though. If you’re helping with greenery or working around dirt, find some extra work clothes that you don’t really need, some gloves, tools, etc. On the other scale, if you’re working in an office, try to find some formal dress. You never know what career opportunities may come to you while volunteering!

You must have a means of transportation, but this seems silly to mention. Just like any regular job, it will be polite and recommended to come in on time. Most organizations are very, very lenient about the times you come in and the hours you clock so no pressure.

For volunteering in general… you might want an agenda or a calendar to remember your scheduled work days.

Documents that include personal information such as your shot records may be required, but not usually.

Make sure you keep a list of all dates and times you’ve worked and also where you’ve worked. This is just a good reference and reminder list you might need later for a resume or application.

For higher up opportunities, you may be asked for examples of past work relative to your position. Most entry level positions don’t mind if you don’t have skills. That’s what training is for! But if you’re applying to be the graphic designer of a booming website, they may want someone with a bit of skill.

Keep your interpersonal skills and perseverance polished and handy as well. The training processes for some jobs (mostly office jobs or jobs working with confidential information) are a bit tedious, but afterward, you will begin to feel the benefits of your generosity!

In the next and final post I will be sure to cover all the tiny cracks and crevices of information I can find when it comes to volunteering. I’ll include some small warnings (nothing to fret over!), some tips after you get the job, what to expect and more.

Thanks for reading and sticking with me! Hopefully this headache goes away so I can get back to some quality posts.

Make Your Mark on the World Series:

  1. Introduction: How to Start Volunteering Now!
  2. Beginning Your Search: Matching Your Interests
  3. Where to Find Them? Local or Virtual?
  4. Items You May Need << You’re here
  5. Other Information

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