Raise your hand if your resume has more volunteer experience than professional working experience. As military spouses, a great deal of our efforts are voluntary or philanthropic in nature, more so than the average population. This can be linked to a number of reasons – our 20-25% unemployment rate and nearly 40% underemployment rate gives us ample time to donate our efforts, and we inherently live within communities that demand support. These experiences are incredibly valuable, providing us with opportunities to connect to our communities and ultimately provide the services that wouldn’t exist without us, especially in overseas and remote assignments.
Want your daughter to be in girl scouts? Plan on being a troop leader. Want to give your teens the chance to get involved in theatre? That requires choreographers, set and costume designers, and rehearsal assistants (read: that volunteer job description is for one person… you). But many of us reach a point that we want or need to provide for our families financially. Or we want or need an environment with different challenges and a chance to flex old or new skills. When we look to find paid employment, it can be natural that we feel an urge to work for a company that gives back, that provides meaning and purpose, and that offers something more than a paycheck – no surprise, considering that is what our lives have revolved around.
So, where is that intersection between work and volunteer? Between getting paid and giving back? Between personally valuable experiences and meaningful ones? That intersection for me is Idealist. Currently advertising nearly 8,000 jobs and internships, along with an equal number of volunteer opportunities, this platform provides the chance to find the right opportunity that combines what many of us are looking for. The site houses an intuitive, easy to use, simple search process where you can explore opportunities by job function, industry, part/full time, educational and professional level, and more. Best yet, there is a simple place to check a box and search for on-site versus remote jobs. There are currently more than 300 remote job opportunities on the site ranging from entry level finance and fundraising roles to professional level managerial and director opportunities. The organizations span the gamut – education, campaigning, social change associations, health, disaster relief and beyond. So, adopt your cause, or simply look for the right work, and at Idealist.org, you can “find the perfect opportunity to change the world” …even more than you already are, that is.
By Samantha Persell