Now might be the ideal time to set yourself up for next year's job. But you have to be willing to volunteer part-time in your community. Unpaid work can help you learn new skills, understand more about the workplace, and -- best of all -- give you something to point to when you're looking for a paid job in the future. Check out our great list of volunteer opportunities. Then scope out the possibilities in your own community.
Tips for Volunteers!
Show up. Resist the urge to skip a day, no matter how tempting ("I'm not getting paid. . . I don't really owe 'em anything"). Remember, you're establishing a work record for that future job.
Speak up. Don't be shy about asking questions. Don't be embarrassed if you don't understand something. In the real world, successful adults speak up when they're confused.
Step up. Any time you see something that needs to be done, do it without being asked. They'll appreciate your initiative.
Interested in volunteering with older people? Contact local retirement communities or nursing homes and ask to speak to the activities director, the director of recreation therapy, or the volunteer coordinator. Work opportunities include: office work; setting up the dining room; pushing wheelchairs; playing checkers, cards, and puzzles; talking and listening -- especially with blind people; delivering mail; reading it for people with vision problems; helping write letters; reading aloud in general; cooking projects, art projects, and sing-alongs.
Interested in this kind of opportunity? Look up veterinary offices and animal shelters and hospitals in your area. Ask to speak to the office manager or veterinarian to see how you can help.
Opportunities for youth at cable access stations vary from community to community. Cable Access Incorporated of Fort Wayne, Indiana, sponsors the Three Rivers Video Contest. Not only is there a contest category specifically for teens and middle school kids, but Cable Access Incorporated runs programs that teach participants how to use the video equipment. To find out about the Cable Access opportunities in your area, contact your local cable access station.