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Volunteer work while unemployed. What does it get me? March 14, 2010

Posted by jvmullin in 1.
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Volunteer work will provide you some benefits that may or may not advance your career.

One it provides a sense of worth that you lost when you lost your job.

It allows you to keep your communication and interaction skills honed for that interview.

Then there is the networking aspect of it as it broadens your network and allows you to meet interesting people.

Depending on the work it can maintain, enhance, or hone your skills. It may add new skills also.

Where do these volunteer opportunities come from?

You can search them out or they may present themselves in chance ways.

My latest work is based on a chance encounter at the local Post Office. It was based on my former volunteer work and the fact that I was wearing an old uniform jacket with  embroidery.

I ran into Al who is running the Ram Island Restoration Project off of Mattapoisett, MA.

The project is to fly dirt out to the island to fill in 2 erosion spots, add planting and make it ready for the nesting season of the Common tern and the Roesetta Tern (endangered). 1/4 of each population nest on this island to breed.

The project uses 3 helicopters to fly the dirt out using mud mats that carry 750lbs of dirt at a time. so it takes many flights. We have moved 650 yards to date.  We have another 3 -4 days hopefully to finish the dirt move.

The pilots requested a water safety aspect in case they go into the water. This is where I come in having performed underwater recovery for 20 years I have the experience to train, plan and execute such an operation.

So my leadership and operation skills are in use once again. The operation provides me a feeling of great worth and responsibility. It has put me back on my game. Something that I have been missing this last  year.

It has also provided me with a new skill — navigation. I navigate us out through a narrow and obstruction avoidance  from the marina to the island and back. I also have to select the anchorage point daily for optimum response.

I hopefully have 3-4 more days of doing this before my part is completed.

This has helped me exercise my leadership skills and get me back on game.

I hope that all those volunteering are finding it helpful. To those who are thinking about it I hope this gives you that push to go for it. It is rewarding and will help you in the short and long term.

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