Tom O’Keefe graduated from Villanova University last year and asked himself “now what”? He found his answer and writes about it in a short, thoughtful post on Career Realism. In this bleak job market, Tom answered his own question with another question: “Did you know you don’t necessarily need a job or internship to gain relevant experience in your field?”
Tom cites programs that offer college grads opportunities to spend a year or more doing meaningful volunteer work. As we’ve mentioned in prior posts, many of these jobs pay–not a lot, but something. Tom notes that skills learned from volunteer provide opportunities to learn significant leadership skills. In this tough job market, it is something to seriously consider–if you have the curiosity and passion to try it.
Tom found a quote from Thomas Edison that provides relevant guidance in these times: “Everything comes to him who hustles while he waits.”
If you’re in the midst of a job search or about to begin one, you also might want to spend some time checking out meaningful volunteer opportunities. The Internet is filled with volunteer options, and you can cover a couple hundred on Notre Dame’s Center for Social Concerns site.
Other excellent programs worth checking out: Idealist.org, Peace Corps, AmeriCorps, Teach for America, Volunteer Inernational, World Teach and Travel Alive.
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A different twist: The New York Times’ April 19 edition carried a story about individuals switching careers into volunteerism. Some good insights about rewards of volunteerism and the growth of master’s programs in the field. Link: http://www.nytimes.com/2009/04/19/education/edlife/continuinged-t.html?pagewanted=1&sq=cecilia%20capuzzi%20simon&st=cse&scp=1