1 of 6Volunteering can be a great thing to do, for many reasons. Of course, it is an opportunity to help others, improve the world around you and get some warm fuzzy feelings. Approached thoughtfully, volunteering can also provide many benefits for your career aspirations. At the very least, it'll make you stop watching Netflix for an hour. You don’t want to be this guy; he doesn’t he look like he's having fun. (David Clark/Getty Images)
1. Entry-level opening ... five years of experience required
2 of 6Most companies want you to have tons of experience but don’t want to hire you to get the experience. Confusing, right? One way to get that experience is by volunteering! Many organizations, especially nonprofits with small budgets, have volunteers on staff. Because they rely on volunteers, these groups are often more likely to give an inexperienced person a chance. Be open-minded when evaluating opportunities. For example, if you need experience with human resources, you may not find an organization in your area looking for an HR volunteer. But you may find one looking for a volunteer coordinator. While the two positions may sound different, they could help you build up similar skills, such as recruiting talent, on-boarding newcomers, and resolving issues and grievances. (OcusFocus/Getty Images)
2. Yes, new friends.
3 of 6I don't care what Drake says in the song “No new friends.” Knowing the right people can open up the opportunity you’re looking for. This can be particularly helpful for transitioning service members, who often are changing career fields, relocating to a new area or both. Many organizations who use volunteers have national and international networks. Someone in the local office could provide a lead on a job in a different part of the organization or a different part of the country. Volunteering at a nonprofit could put you shoulder-to-shoulder with a hiring manager, company vice president, or even the CEO. Meeting them in an out-of-office setting gives you a chance to see and be seen without the pressure that often comes with a job interview. Talk about a win-win! (Robb Cohen/Invision/AP)
3. We're talking about practice
4 of 6Sorry, Allen Iverson. We're talking about practice again. Think of volunteering as the final practice before the big game. It can help you hone your abilities or even teach you a new set of skills that will be useful at that future corporate job, all in a low-pressure environment. You can try new things, take risks, work through failures and learn. Even if you mess up so badly that the volunteer organization fires you, you won't get a pay cut! (Tom Mihalek/AFP/Getty Images)
So go volunteer !!!!
5 of 6Volunteering might not get you a fat paycheck, but it can provide you with a lot more than it would appear on the surface. And if it doesn’t help you with anything discussed above it will at least get you of that couch! (Natasaadzic/Getty Images)
6 of 6Information contributed by Veterans of Foreign Wars. Find more at https://www.vfw.org.