From Volunteer to Career: 3 Tips to Unlock the Potential of Giving Back

Janine Spurrier

Military life is an adventure filled with relocations, new environments, and unique challenges. As a military spouse, you know all too well the hurdles of finding stable employment amidst the frequent moves. But what if I told you there’s a powerful tool at your disposal that can help you not only secure a job but also build a fulfilling career? That tool is volunteering and here are three reasons why.

1. Skill Development

Volunteering allows you to develop and refine skills that are highly valued by employers. Whether you’re organizing events for your child’s school, managing social media for scouts, or coaching youth sports, these experiences translate directly into marketable job skills. Volunteer work can hold just as much weight on a professional resume as paid experience. The organizational, communication, and leadership skills you gain are invaluable in any career field.

2. Networking Opportunities

Volunteering puts you in touch with a diverse group of people. Sometimes, the organization you are volunteering for is hiring, and other times, you find out about open positions through networking. These connections can lead to job opportunities, professional references, and mentorship. Don’t forget to tell everyone you meet that you’re job searching, you never know who might have the perfect lead for you.

3. Filling Employment Gaps

Frequent relocations can often lead to gaps in your employment history. Volunteering is a great way to bridge these gaps, demonstrating to potential employers that you’re proactive and dedicated, even during periods of formal unemployment. Family Readiness Groups (FRGs) are constantly seeking help due to the regular movement of families in and out of installations. This provides ongoing opportunities for you to get involved and make a meaningful contribution.

Having volunteered since my children were toddlers, I’ve personally seen how networking through volunteering can lead to numerous employment opportunities. Volunteering is a powerful way for military spouses to build their resumes, expand their networks, and explore new career paths. It’s a strategic move that not only benefits your community but also significantly enhances your employability. So, why wait? Start volunteering today and unlock new opportunities for your future!

Janine Spurrier is a Transition Specialist with the Serving Spouses Team at Hire Heroes USA. She has been a military spouse for over 10 years and knows firsthand the struggles of searching for employment and the barriers that come along with each PCS. She has most recently taken a few years off to live overseas, travel, and raise her family while creating a dynamic home environment for their two boys. Janine has experience as a Recruiter and an HR Assistant which have helped her guide her clients in the process of networking and standing out to recruiters and potential employers. She has a passion for learning and serving others and truly values an organization that empowers the military community.