• Rush University Medical Center

VOLUNTEER YOUR WAY INTO A NEW HEALTH CARE CAREER

If you’re finding it difficult to break into the health care profession, you may want to consider volunteer work. It’s a great option if you are looking to do something different than your previous job, or if you’re simply looking for work in the same field.

From a strategy perspective, the experts at Bizzia.com say one of the most important things job seekers can do is use their “free time” wisely. That means looking for opportunities to volunteer in their career path of choice.

Make A Volunteer Gig Work To Your Advantage

According to job recruiters at CheezHead, when you volunteer for non-profits, be sure to network with the members of the committees and boards. The people who serve on those groups tend to be movers and shakers in the community. Many will be executives or managers and will either be interested in hiring you to work for their organizations or will likely know vendors, health care clients who could benefit from your skills.

Make Time For Volunteer Work

It’s true that looking for a job requires full-time attention, but the experts at JobMonkey.com do not recommend sinking all your energy into volunteer work.

Ideally, 4-to-8 hours a week is more than enough time to achieve your career networking goals — while also making a meaningful contribution to people and causes in need.

Gain Experience From Volunteering

One goal should be to gain the necessary experience to either move into the health care field or advance within it.

Job seekers should request to have specific projects and take the initiative as much as possible. Demonstrate work ethic, keep track of accomplishments and update the resume.

Get A Letter Of Recommendation

An author of a recent Times Union article succinctly writes: Take care of the organization and it will take care of you.

Don’t forget to ask for a letter of recommendation before you leave your volunteer gig, so that a positive impression of you is fresh in their mind. Give your direct supervisor, the CEO or a colleague plenty of time to write it on the employer letterhead. Letters of recommendation can sometimes tip the balance of health care job searching in your favor.

Volunteer Work Builds Character

Employers are often impressed with volunteer experience on a resume because it shows hard work and determination. In addition, volunteering builds character and is often the sign of a good, responsible employee.

Bottom line: By working for free you can turn internships into interviews and build relevant experience for smoother career transitioning or advancement.

The more your give, the more you’ll get – especially in the field of health care.