FROM A VOLUNTEER TO A BUSINESS OWNER

Written on the 13 May 2015

NEW research has found that employers think skills learnt while volunteering are as valuable as those learnt on paid time.

SEEK Volunteer research, conducted in the lead up to National Volunteer Week, found 95 per cent of Queensland hirers view volunteering as a great way to gain experience and skills that can be used in an individual's paid work.

94 per cent also agree volunteering can be a credible way of getting real-work experience, especially for first-time job seekers.

Through volunteering, Gold Coast resident Paul O'Brien gained the necessary skills to start up his own business, Corporate Connectors.

O'Brien was involved in the mediation process of an attempted merger between two local rugby league clubs. As a committee member on one of the clubs, he was asked to sit in on the meetings to voluntarily assist with negotiating the merger for his club.

O'Brien now runs Corporate Connectors, a managed networking company which helps businesses identify possible synergies and joint ventures between business' clients.

The company assists with negotiations, potential business mergers and joint venture structures for businesses Australia-wide.

"Queensland and Gold Coast Rugby league asked for our clubs to create a merger to assist the development of Rugby League in the area," says O'Brien.

"From meeting one, we were all learning about the processes and negotiation skills required to work towards a win-win situation.

"You've got to do research to see what success will look like so you can aim for the most equitable solution to both parties.

"I put that experience to work every week in my current role, and the skills gained from this situation was invaluable to my current working environment."

Head of SEEK Volunteer, Amanda Robinson (pictured), says the research puts hard facts behind what SEEK has been saying for years, that volunteering constitutes real-work experience.

"Volunteering can provide huge benefits for those people looking to not only give back, but also further their professional career," says Robinson.

"It offers new challenges, a new network of peers and a different work space, which can provide the perfect environment to learn new skills or build networks in areas of interest."

Volunteering experience also paints a much clearer picture of a candidate's personality and core values, according to the research. Being motivated (56 per cent), socially responsible (42 per cent) and proactive (42 per cent) were the top three personality traits associated with Queenslanders who have volunteered.

Ninety-four per cent of Queensland hirers view relevant volunteering experience as an advantage during the interview process, with 87 per cent believing it can be the deciding factor in choosing between two candidates for a job.

"There's so much competition for jobs that the only way to shortlist applicants is to look at what differentiates them," says Robinson.

Eighty-six per cent of Queensland hirers recommend candidates volunteer in a relevant area at some point in their career to gain valuable experience and help give them a competitive edge.


Latest News

SUPERCARS SPEED INTO QUEENSLAND

SUPERCARS CEO James Warburton has expressed his delight with securing the Castrol Gold Coast 600 and the Castrol E...

CIOBO WARNS CREDIT RATING COULD BE AT RISK

FEDERAL Minister for Trade and Investment Steven Ciobo has warned a Labor victory following this weekend's fed...

NEW NATIONAL MINIMUM WAGE KICKS IN FROM TOMORROW

AUSTRALIA'S new minimum wage comes into effect tomorrow. The hourly rate for adult workers will increase f...

SYDNEY AGENCY GIVES NEW MUMS THE WORKS

SYDNEY agency The Works has raised the bar in creative industries with its new baby daycare bonus.

As of July...

Related News

FROM THE TANK: SHOULD YOU EVER WHACK-A-MOLE?

A FAST-PACED game of whack-a-mole often evolves as a business begins to scale up.

Based on my past experience with...

FROM THE TANK: HOW I PICK TECH COMPANIES

JAMIE Pherous, the founder of Corporate Travel Management (market cap $1.4 billion) said it well at the Brisbane B...

FROM THE TANK: DIVING INTO POLITICS

A DECADE ago I faced an important career decision which could have changed the course of my life. 

Option one...

FROM THE TANK: PEOPLE MATTER MOST

WHAT am I looking for on Shark Tank? In actual fact, I am looking for 'who' rather than 'what'.
...

Contact us

Email News Update Sign Up Contact Details

Subscribe to our mailing list

* indicates required
Email Format

PO Box 2087
Brisbane QLD 4001

LoginTell a FriendSign Up to Newsletter