Charity work speeds career development


“It’s the old adage - you can’t get a job without experience and you can’t get experience without a job,” says Phil O’Sullivan, Director of Robert Walters’ Operations division.


He said charity work enabled individuals to acquire skills they could use in a wide variety of business functions.


“You could offer to assist a charity’s administration (therefore gaining experience in finance and IT), fundraising (sales, marketing and event management experience) or counselling (human resources experience). This gives people a chance to apply skills to areas on which they don’t normally focus on a day-to-day basis.


“For example, an engineer getting involved in fundraising can develop business and negotiation skills. Raising money for a cure for cancer, saving a waterway or fighting bushfires hold terrific opportunities to advance your leadership, teamwork, project management and communication skills.”


Mr O’Sullivan said that managing a team of voluntary workers from all walks of life presented a wonderful opportunity to develop and fine-tune interpersonal and people management skills.


“Bringing these experiences back into the workplace offers tremendous practical value to your employer. And these additional skills might just be what separates you from your peers and gets you that next promotion.”


For others, charity work offered the possibility to trial a particular career, he said.


“For example, someone wishing to sample the supply chain/logistics profession may become involved in procuring and distributing food and medical supplies to a community/nation in need.”


He said working for a charity also offered an excellent chance to network.


“People are continually looking for networking opportunities - a valuable commodity in today’s society. There are enormous benefits both personally and professionally yielded from involvement in charitable activities.


“Of course the greatest reward offered to and received by charity workers is the immense personal satisfaction of giving something back to our community, our neighbours or our environment.”


"This article originally appeared in the Australia-wide monthly newsmagazine, Human Resources. To subscribe to the magazine, please visit

Author: HR Magazine

Keywords: charityhrpromotion

Created on 23 April 2002,   Modified on 23 April 2002