National Volunteer Week logoVolunteering can offer valuable experience on your path to work! Read our National Volunteer Week blog post to learn more about what volunteering can mean for you and your job search.

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Exploring Community Service as a Pathway to Employment

Apr 24, 2017

National Volunteer Week logoNational Volunteer Week shines light on the people and causes that inspire us to serve our communities. This week, we recognize and thank the volunteers who lend their time and talent to special causes.

Volunteering can help you as you start thinking about work and searching for a job. In addition to the many benefits to you, your community and the world, volunteering can jumpstart your journey to work and financial independence. Consider volunteer work if you’d like to create change in your community or if you’re looking for work and don’t know where to start.

Volunteer work: do well by doing good

Helping others can have a positive effect on your own life. Donating your time and skills gives you goals to achieve, promotes good and improves quality of life for others. Volunteering may also enhance your happiness because it can:

  • Increase self-confidence as you meet goals
  • Create a sense of purpose
  • Help you build a support network, which can improve your mental health
  • Counteract stress, anger and anxiety

Volunteering doesn’t just help you feel good; it can also benefit your job search. While helping others, you can learn and practice organization, communications, marketing and other skills that employers look for in job candidates. As you consider volunteer opportunities, think about your career goals and what kind of work you’d like to explore. You may be able to find a volunteer position related to your goals. For example, you may be able to volunteer in a hospital or nursing home if you’re considering jobs in healthcare.

Success through volunteering and Ticket to Work

Social Security’s Ticket to Work (Ticket) program supports career development for people ages 18 through 64 who receive Social Security disability benefits (SSI or SSDI) and want to work.
The Ticket program is free and voluntary. It helps people with disabilities move toward financial independence and connects them with the services and support they need to succeed in the workforce.

On his road to full time employment, Jesus, our latest Ticket to Work success story, volunteered with Telecare. Telecare works to improve the lives of people with serious mental illness. As a volunteer, Jesus learned the important work the organization does in his community and found a career path he was passionate about. His role grew, and later that year he was offered a paid position as a part-time case manager. Read more about Jesus to find out how volunteering and the Ticket program helped him find his way to a full-time career.

Learn More

You can find a volunteer opportunity that is right for you by checking out places in your community. You can also search online at:

To learn more about the Ticket program, visit You can also call the Ticket to Work Help Line at 866-968-7842 or 866-833-2967 (TTY) Monday through Friday, 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. ET. Ask a representative to send you a list of service providers or find providers on your own with the Ticket program Find Help tool.

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