How volunteering helped me find a job
I would like to explain how I used the skills that I gained from volunteer jobs to hunt for part time work.
First of all, I started volunteer work at the Auckland Institute of Study (AIS) cafeteria. My job was to make coffee which is also known as a barista. However, my job was not only making coffee but also making sandwiches, working on the cash register and sometimes baking. There were other students who volunteered to work in the cafeteria as well so we were always able to switch our jobs around to gain other skills.
In addition, there was another volunteer role, working at an event, that I did this year. The event was called Quiz Night. It happens regularly at the community centre and, as the name suggests, the event is like a party to answer questions and win prizes. The first time I went to do volunteer work at the Quiz Night I served alcohol - I have a Licence Controller Qualification (LCQ) which means I can sell alcohol under a manager. In this case I monitored the people consuming alcohol to ensure that they didn’t over drink. If they did I had to tell them to stop or called a taxi for them.
The second Quiz Night that I worked as volunteer at I had a different role. This time, I had to prepare food (chicken curry with rice) for visitors. In this role I had to plan ahead and tell people serving which table they should serve first. I had to control portions on each dish that I prepared for visitors.
After sending in my CV the ASB Showground Catering Manager emailed me back to invite me for a job interview at the office.
When I finished my interview, the manager asked me to show him the barista skills that learnt from my volunteer job at AIS. As a result, my training in the cafeteria got me the job.
For the first week of working at the ASB showground, my role was cleaning and making coffee which went well. The second week, I made coffee with another co-worker in the VIP room for three days, then the event ended. The third week, my role was food preparation for customers in the food court. Also, if sandwiches ran out at busy times or people in the sandwich station had to go and help the customers, I made sandwiches for customers.
Overall, the combination of knowledge and skills from volunteer work helped make my job hunting very easy, even though I had only been working as a volunteer for approximately six months.
Additionally, volunteering not only leads to references on CVs but also increases experiences of working with difference types of people. I believe that, if people keep volunteering to help improve their skills, finding a job in New Zealand will not be difficult.
About the contributors
Sirawit Pattanacharoenkit is also known as TK. He comes from the South of Thailand, near Bangkok and is studying for a Bachelor of Hospitality at the Auckland Institute of Studies. TK chose New Zealand because "i know that it is a safe place and people are friendly." *Views expressed are the blogger's own