Land Your Dream Job through Volunteering

By Lulu Abdun, Summer Programs Associate at Volunteer Odyssey

Genevieve found her dream job through volunteering. Her teaching job had just finished and she was looking for work in a nonprofit setting. Having interned and worked at a nonprofit, she knew that’s where she wanted to go next; however, because there are countless nonprofits in the Memphis area, she did not know where to begin.

All through June and July, Genevieve was job searching and looking for ways to get involved in the community. Her friend told her about Volunteer Odyssey, and she attended Volunteer Odyssey’s Minute Match event in mid June. She fell in love with World Relief, an organization that helps refugee families acclimate to Memphis.

Genevieve loved volunteering with World Relief weekly and knew she wanted to be in a helping profession, so she continued to search for a job that fit her interests. She joined Volunteer Odyssey’s Job Seekers program, a 7-day volunteering journey that is designed for job-seeking professionals with interests in volunteer work. She met with Sarah Petschonek, the founder and CEO of Volunteer Odyssey, to talk about her skills and interests and to seek out the perfect job.

Having an interest in outdoor education, female empowerment, and social work, Sarah matched Genevieve with Clean Memphis, World Relief, the H*Art Gallery, Shelby Farms, Thistle & Bee, and Dorothy Day House. Each day Genevieve went to a different nonprofit to volunteer and experienced a new part of Memphis which she had not known while also learning more about herself.

When she volunteered at these organizations, it created a sense of community to her. Volunteering allowed her to make connections with people and deepened the meaning of Memphis to her. “Through volunteering I could see Memphis through different lenses,” Genevieve said.

image1On the last day of her Job Seekers journey, Genevieve volunteered at Dorothy Day House, which serves as a haven for keeping homeless families together. She did not know much about the organization, but right when she walked in the door she felt very connected. “There was a unique and irreplaceable culture happening in the home,” Genevieve said. She fell in love with the small, intimate work environment while spending time with the family, playing with the kids, and chatting with visitors over dessert. A couple days later she received a job offer from Dorothy Day House!

Although Genevieve is going to begin working at Dorothy Day House September 1st, she wants to continue to volunteer with World Relief and in the Memphis community. Volunteering is an important part of Genevieve’s life, so she is excited to begin this journey as a volunteer coordinator and educator. She is also is very thankful to Volunteer Odyssey’s Job Seeker’s program. Genevieve describes the Job Seekers program as a great example of the wonderful, sustainable community Memphis has, and she was so grateful to have the chance to make stronger connections with her community.

If you’d like to volunteer at the Dorothy Day House, take a 90-second tour of them on Volio, the world’s first virtual volunteer fair. You might even see Genevieve there!

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