It may sound strange to recommend that Canadian newcomers seek out volunteer opportunities. Newcomers are usually busy trying to establish a life in a new country. However, volunteering does have many benefits that may not seem evident at first. Continue reading to learn more about some of the benefits of volunteering.
1) Advance Your Career
Even the most skilled newcomers may find it challenging to immediately resume their careers in Canada. One reason is that some local employers prefer Canadian work experience when choosing an ideal candidate. Newcomers can bolster their resumes by including Canadian work experience obtained through volunteer work. In addition, volunteering provides an excellent opportunity for individuals to develop new skills for their desired careers.
Finding the right volunteer opportunity is also important. Newcomers should seek volunteer opportunities related to their desired career or field of work. While having any volunteer experience is beneficial, newcomers should focus on specific roles that will help them advance their careers in Canada. For example, a newcomer healthcare professional may want to search for opportunities in the same industry. On the other hand, individuals trying to transition to a new career should consider volunteering to gain initial exposure to that field. When used correctly, this experience can show employers that you are serious about a career in any industry.
2) Building Your Network
Volunteering is a fantastic way to socialize and meet new people. Newcomers who may not have a strong local support network should consider volunteering to expand their local network. Volunteering will also help you strengthen your bonds with the local community and help integrate you with Canadian society. All volunteers share a common goal of helping the community. Therefore, they are likely willing to help their peers as well. Don’t be afraid to let others know that you are actively looking for a job as you never know how your new friends can be of assistance.
3) Improve Your Communication
Are you uncomfortable communicating with other Canadians? Or maybe you are not confident in your English or French communication skills yet.
Volunteering provides newcomers with the perfect opportunity to develop their communication skills. As mentioned earlier, some employers prefer Canadian work experience because it shows that you can work well with other Canadians. Even skilled newcomers can have difficulty finding employment if they are unfamiliar with the norms of the Canadian workforce. Volunteering can help newcomers develop the soft skills that many employers desire – this includes being able to communicate and get along with your co-workers.
4) Personal Fulfillment
Volunteering may not be common in other countries, but many Canadians find the activity rewarding. Volunteers are happier because they feel accomplished by contributing to the community. Furthermore, these individuals experience more self-confidence and are likely to have a positive view of their life and future goals.
Want more Settlement and Employment Support?
Newcomers in Ontario can access free support services from the experts at Newcomer Information Centre (NIC) Online. Members can receive career counselling and access informative resources that will benefit newcomers to Canada.
Are you interested in receiving these free services? Register now by clicking here.