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

FLIGHT CENTRE STAMPS ITS MARK ON EUROPE

FLIGHT Centre Travel Group (ASX:FLT) has spread its wings across Europe, after acquiring a string of corporate tra...

AMBITION REMAINS AS SUNLAND PULLS $600M MARINER PLAN

SUNLAND Group (ASX: SDG) has withdrawn its proposed twin-tower development on The Spit after the City of Gold Coas...

'JUST SCRATCHING THE SURFACE' OF DIGITAL INNOVATION IN HEALTHCARE

AUSTRALIA is one of the best health innovators in the world, but has a poor record in commercialising new technology,...

SUNSHINE COAST BOOM ATTRACTS BRISBANE DEVELOPER

PROLIFIC Brisbane-based developer Mosaic Property Group has moved into the Sunshine Coast market as a result of boomi...

Related News

CONSUMERS MAINTAIN CONFIDENCE DESPITE SHOCKS

CONSUMER sentiment in Australia has held strong despite shocks that typically dent the appetite for spending, such as...

TOURISTS CASHED UP AND HEADING FOR AUSTRALIA

INTERNATIONAL tourists flocked to Australia in FY16 with the tourism industry growing three times faster than the ...

HOTCOPPER FLOAT SLAMMED AS 'CRAZY'

CUDECO founder Wayne McCrae (pictured) has ripped into share market discussion board HotCopper ahead of its IPO, s...

FROM THE TANK: GOOD OLD-FASHIONED BUSINESS STILL RELEVANT

BEING involved with Shark Tank and my friendship with startup guru Steve Baxter has inspired me to seriously engage w...

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