Step 9: Volunteer

volunteer

When you volunteer, you help, assist, or serve another person or persons for free.  You are not paid for this work.  In Canada, volunteering is very common and highly valued.  In fact, many non-profit organizations, charities, festivals and community boards are run by volunteers.

There are many benefits to volunteering.  You will meet interesting people and help to serve your community.  Another advantage is that it may help you to get a job. Consider the following points.

Why volunteer?

  • Volunteering is a great way to gain the Canadian work experience that many employers want you to have.
  • You will learn about the Canadian workplace culture which may be different from what you know. The easiest way to understand the difference is to experience it.
  • You will ask for references from those Canadians volunteer groups. They typically have higher value to employers than references from other countries.
  • You will have new responsibilities, and may improve your interpersonal, communication, organizational, and fundraising skills.
  • You can practise your language and communication skills. Improve your English or French skills as you learn Canadian colloquialisms, idioms and common phrases.

Where should you volunteer?

Look for volunteer opportunities in organizations that may help you find work or make connections to your workplace.  Good options are professional associations, settlement agencies or health related agencies.  A long list is provided here. Cultural centres are great places to connect with those who share your own culture and traditions.  Join them but know they may offer fewer work related connections and opportunities for work.

Why you should consider volunteering.

Volunteer opportunities in Canada.