Volunteering is an excellent way to gain experience and practical skills in your field of study, or in a field in which you are interested. Through volunteering you can contribute greatly to an organisation and the community, and can network with a wide range of people who may be able to offer advice and assistance with your job search. All graduate employers view community involvement very positively.
Benefits to your career
Volunteering can be a valuable part of career planning by helping you to:
- Strengthen your employability skills – communication, teamwork, problem solving, planning, etc
- Get work or industry-related experience
- Develop your professional network and make new contacts
- Show initiative and motivation to employers
- Prepare for leadership roles
Choosing volunteer activities
Volunteering can be worthwhile in itself, and provide you with opportunities to develop your general skills (communication, team-work). It can also have a role in providing you with industry-related experience. Think about what’s important to you, in terms of the outcomes you’re looking for from volunteering. Identify the key activities you’d like to undertake, and the setting you’d be working in.
Researching volunteer roles
- Volunteering Victoria – Provides an overview of volunteering in Victoria, & links to regional volunteering hubs
- Go Volunteer – advertises volunteering positions across Australia
- Volunteers of Banyule – Community-based organisation which supports and promotes volunteering in Banyule and Nillumbik.
- Seek’s Volunteering section – Run by seek.com.au
- Australian Council for international Development – site lists volunteer opportunities and links
- Going Global – lists overseas volunteering positions. Access through La Trobe careers website, login using your student username and password.
La Trobe Award
Get more value out of your volunteering experiences. By joining the La Trobe Award, you’ll get recognition of your volunteering through acknowledgement on your university transcript, and you’ll be supported through access to free, high quality training.