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Why you should volunteer before you graduate

Alarm goes off. It’s 7am. You’re not happy, because it’s 7am. And then, in very quick succession: splash your face, yank on clothes, grab a bite and catch the train. It’s the rush towards the 9-5 grind.

And if you’re not ready for it, that’s okay. If you’re looking for a routine that you can handle, and a way to create impact you can be proud of, why not try volunteering?

Here’s 3 reasons why you should give it a go:

1. Networking is a scary word

But volunteer work will ease the fear factor. Networking is just another buzzword for smiling at your co-workers and connecting with them to build your contacts.

Volunteering throws you in the mix with all sorts of motivated people from different study backgrounds, all with ambitious plans for the future. Get to know your shared passions and keep in touch.

It’s scary out there – they don’t call it job-hunting for nothing – you’ll want as many people in your network as possible.

2. But I’m broke and disorganised

Join the club. Between uni supplies, birthday parties and petrol prices, it’s hard enough finding coins for coffee. But if you can balance paid work with volunteering, you’ll be forced to learn some time, money and stress management skills.

You will prepare and tupperware lunch the night before. You will catch the tram and save on petrol. You will do those subject readings when they’re due, not when the essay is due.

3. Running low on cover letter ramble?

If you’re feeling underqualified, volunteering is a great way to give your CV a boost. Look for volunteer positions that match the skills you want to improve, or will help to build the skills you need for that dream job.

You’ll get bonus points for taking the initiative to carve out a career path between semesters. Get ahead before you graduate.

Give it a go

Volunteer work can be like a tasting tray in a bakery. Not sure if you want an entire apple and cinnamon scroll? Have a nibble first.

Don’t know if you’re into copywriting, graphic design, working with animals, working with children or working in general? Volunteer for a bit and you’ll find out.

Chances are that you’ll eventually join the 7am scramble to work. But if you’re not ready for it, don’t rush in and regret it. Give volunteering a go – it might become a lifelong passion.

If you’re under 26 and want to volunteer at Oaktree, check out our current opportunities.