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Dabble in Something Different

Thinking about a totally different career, but don’t know where to start? Want to hone your skills in a particular field, see what else you can do with those writing and presentation skills, or just get back in the game after a break from the job market? Volunteering gives you the flexibility to try anything, and just about everything, with little to no risk—all while turning yourself into a more marketable you. Here are a few ideas.

Build on what you’ve already got.

Whether you represent an organization and need help on a project, or are a professional looking to make a difference, Catchafire helps by bringing volunteers together on projects ranging from one-hour phone calls, all the way through full-fledged projects. Studies show that employers view applicants with volunteer experience in a favorable light, so consider serving your community through one of these government programs. If you’re a skilled healthcare professional, find a volunteer opportunity right in your town, or make volunteering an adventure and sharpen your skills abroad.

Try something totally new.

Ready to step out of your comfort zone? The Public Speaking Project can help you develop skills to wow a crowd, which you can in turn share with others in your community. If you’ve ever considered computer programming, can help you get started, while also providing platforms to share your knowledge and support computing diversity in your community as a volunteer. Want to learn, travel and make difference? Add a world of experience to your resume as an international teacher. And if you see a management role in your future but haven’t been given a shot, ask how you can build your skills as a volunteer coordinator or management trainee with any of the organizations you find here.

Get back in action.

If you’re retired or unemployed and actively seeking work, volunteering can help you stay productive and build your professional network. GoodProspects®, a Goodwill Industries initiative, shows you how to build “soft” and “hard” volunteer skills that can increase your employment prospects while making the world a better place. AARP Foundation's Back to Work 50+ program helps older workers find their next opportunity through career counseling, networking and strategizing. Check it out, along with this comprehensive list of job-hunting resources, and take advantage of these tips for making the most of Virtual Career Fairs.

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