Volunteering: Good For You and Your Resume

Volunteering: Good For You and Your Resume

Few can deny the benefits of helping others. It gives you that warm special feeling that lets your heart grow 3 sizes every year. There is nothing like helping someone and seeing the smile and hearing the “thank you” that comes when you have made a difference in someone’s life. One cannot explain the satisfied feeling you get when you hand a child a toy that he/she wanted and how their faces light up like a Christmas tree. And if that’s not enough to get you to your nearest soup kitchen and roll up your sleeves, here’s another reason. Do you know how good volunteer work looks on your resume? Not only will volunteering catch the interest of your employer, it will also give you experience that you don’t have to pay for — does not cost you a cent! You can build your portfolio and do something for someone else! It’s the season of giving and sharing and there are a lot of opportunities to get out and give back to the community. Although if you’re industrious and don’t feel like waiting on a particular time of year to get involved, we have some tips on how to find the right place and ways for you to get out and help out!

Homeless Shelters.
These are everywhere and they always need help. You can help at meal times directly at the shelter. They might need help in the office area.

A lot of paper work comes with running this type of organization and most of the staff are volunteers —  just like you. They are getting paid little or no money for their free time and they would welcome the help.

Food Collection.
This is one of the easiest ways to help. You virtually don’t have to do anything, but put a box in a place where you know people will put canned goods. All you need is a place to collect the food, something to put the food in, and a place to drop it off. There are food banks in most cities that would love to have the help and are practically operated through the donations of others. Not really feeling donating to homeless shelters? Pet shelters need the same help. Feeding all of those animals is a job-and-a-half. They are spending so much money trying to keep up with and pay for the bills that any food contribution you could make would be very welcome. Just call your local humane or animal shelters and find out what the requirements are and you’re off and running!

Spare Time Volunteering.
Some of us are super busy. We may not have the hour to devote to whatever charity is knocking on our door. But most hobbies have a charity that will accept your donations. Do you crochet? Maybe there is a child program that needs blankets. Wood working is your choice? Great!  You can enter your item in a charity auction. Not only does this allow you to take time for yourself, but you can donate your project to a worthy cause! And if you’re going into business for yourself, it’s a free way to get your name out there. It is a win-win situation for everyone!

Working with Children and the Elderly.
Not only does this show you’re a team player, you can have a lot of fun! Children’s hospitals need assistance from people to help them run story hours. You can be a candy striper and get your foot in the door at a medical facility. Go to old age facilities and visit with the patients. You’ll get to hear stories of their lives. Learn some new things. Did you know anything about cars? They might. Also, you don’t know who someone knows. And that little old lady you’re feeding apple sauce to may have a son who is a manager at that very office where you were hoping to get an internship. It can happen.

Public Organizations.
Libraries, political campaigns, hospitals, and environmental groups all need volunteers. You think these places run themselves? Each of these places offers the chance for you to make contacts in all types of industries. It gives you the chance to not only help others, but it will give you the chance to network. You never know where your first or new job is coming from and this may be your chance to find one!

Call Centers.
If you have ever watched television and seen someone call a suicide hotline, then you know how desperate these places are to get help. These places need people to answer calls and help people find their way through whatever problem they are having.

Good with advice and easy to talk to? This might be your thing. You are making a difference in the life of someone that needs help immediately. This gives you experience in answering telephones and other office work as they are always looking for help in all areas.

Click Page Charities.
This one is the easiest one to do. All you need is an internet connection and computer. If you’re surfing the net often, just pull up a site of click charities. These are sites that get money when you click on their link. Just Google Charity Click sites and it will pull up literally hundreds of sites that you don’t have to do anything, except click on them for them to get help. By driving traffic to those sites, you are helping them pay for their administrative fees and donating to whatever charity you’re supporting. Pretty sweet deal for just a few seconds of your time!

Hope this helps! If you want more ways to help, head to your local library or google your town and charities. There are literally hundreds of ways to find projects to help and get your name out there. Everyone’s life is like a piece of paper. Don’t you want the make you make to be a good one?

Making Your Own Luck

Making Your Own Luck

Fortune has always favored the bold, but the bold also always has a plan. There is nothing like being at the right place at the right time. Except you have to plan to be at that place at that time with a snazzy work appropriate outfit and a business card! You can let fate carry you anywhere it wants to, or you can give fate a hand to re-direct that river of success in your direction!

Fortuitous Encounters.
That shooting star called Serendipity can take off anywhere and any time! Make sure you’re ready to grab hold of it with both hands. If you’re out and about, you are more likely to have a fortuitous encounter if you’re at a place where you can encounter people. Take up macrame, go to a free seminar held at your local school, or check out the Chambers of Commerce. They are always holding events that let you get out and meet people. You can meet anyone there such as CEO’s, managers, supervisors, your next baby sitter who happens to have a Ph.D. It does not matter! But you wouldn’t have met any of these people if you’re sitting at home. Get out and encounter!

Don’t Ignore Oddities.
So you’re sitting on a bench at the park and a guy wearing overalls and a straw hat with muddy accessories sits down. He introduces himself and holds out his hand to shake. You’re wearing a suit or a dress and you’re hesitant to breath the same air, let alone touch his hand. Get over it and yourself! That man may be the one giving you your next interview. That man may be the father of your supervisor. That man could be the missing link between you and your next pay check. It can happen!

Happenstance can happen anywhere.
Your job is to make sure it happens when you’re ready. Going to a seminar? Research the company that’s sponsoring it. Look at your goals and see how that company could  fit into it. When you prepare for a conversation, it makes it easier to engage. Going to a knitting circle? Talk a little about what you do. Someone may know someone else who needs what you’re offering. There are always ways to spin any situation to your advantage. Be inquisitive!!

Take a Chance.
Is your comfort zone getting you that job? Try something new! You can accomplish all three of the above by going somewhere you’ve never been. You don’t know what is going to give you that “Aha” moment! You just have to be open to new things. If you’re knitting a rug sitting at the park, you may see people walking their dogs, people jogging, and maybe even a clown creating balloon animals. Someone who isn’t open is seeing: dog walkers, joggers, and a clown. The person who is open is seeing sees: a new love interest, a new work out buddy, and an entertainer at their kids’ birthday party. It doesn’t cost anything to take a chance.

Remain Flexible.
Your boss has given you a lot of work to do over the weekend. But there is nothing that says you can’t take your work to a restaurant and do it there. There was no stipulation that you couldn’t go to an internet cafe and sit with others, busy typing away to get your work done. As long as you’re getting your work done, there is nothing that says you can’t be where the action is and where your next opportunity might be!

Know What You Want.
The biggest mistake that people make when staring luck in the face is not knowing exactly what they want. You are being given the chance to have it all, however, you don’t know what it is that you want. By knowing what you’re looking for, you’ll know what to look for. You volunteered to knit for a charity. Someone bought your creation and now they want you to make sweaters exclusively for their store. You have always wanted to design clothing, but since it’s just sweaters, you said no.  You could have made those sweaters, used the store in your portfolio, handed out your card and a brochure to let others know you do more then sweaters, and set up a web space that would get you noticed. But you missed your chance by trying to get the big picture instead of the small opportunity to get you there.

There are little moments in time when you look back and think “Why didn’t I do that?” or “If I had just said this,” and you didn’t. There are days you’ll cringe at some of the things you’ve done and wish you could have had another chance. Luck is a tricky task master, but if you prepare yourself, you can make your luck work on your schedule!

HOT Workforce Announces Enhanced Job Placement Efforts

HOT Workforce Announces Enhanced Job Placement Efforts

Beginning March 12th, the Heart of Texas Workforce Center is placing an even greater effort on placing the dislocated worker (UI Claimants) into employment opportunities. Individuals will be receiving emails, phone calls and post cards prompting them to come in, call in or logon to take advantage of this new effort.

This program will place much emphasis on the employer, with the belief that finding employment opportunities need to come first, then match the dislocated worker to an employment opportunity. This is the most efficient way to place individuals. A team of employment specialists is working around the area looking for the next great employment situation for claimants.

Every job is important and every employer is needed to make this effort a success. Employers are asked to take note of the dislocated worker, who is, in many cases, a seasoned worker with experience and skills. This worker has been laid off from a job that they loved and lost through no fault of their own. They have weathered the storms of a bad or slow economy and just need a chance to re-enter the workforce.

Many tools are being used, one being the Work-In-Texas online placement tool which matches jobs and claimants. Many employers have been asked to post their jobs in this system which has proven its value time and time again.

A new tool being introduced is the CampusJobXpress.com Magazine. This magazine, meant to help college students find employment while attending school as well as upon graduation, has been extended to help the dislocated worker. Many of the dislocated workers have been forced to change careers as the job market is changing. They are going back to school to become more competitive. This has made the typical college student to be anyone from 18 to 80.

Resumes, pictures with bios, an online Job Club and an ongoing Online Job Fair are featured to help employers see the great variety of individuals available. This magazine is open for use 24/7. There is a Fortune 500 Watch, where jobs from the Fortune 500 companies are posted. Employers are featured as the best opportunities for placement become available.

Join us at the Heart of Texas Workforce Center and the online magazine; we are all trying to make the difference in the lives of the dislocated workers.

Dislocated Workers! Please join us at the Workforce Center at 1416 South New Road or call 254-296-5222 and ask for Sheena Williams. Employers! Please call Rachel Rudd at 254-339-8788 or email us at info@campusjobxpress.com.

In Texas and specifically in the Heart of Texas Board Area (McLennan, Bosque, Falls, Freestone, Limestone Counties), funds are available for the dislocated worker. This is a great opportunity for going to college to get an Associates Degree or obtain a license or certificate for a trade.

At the HOT Workforce Center at 1416 South New Road in Waco, Texas, staff will help you screen and apply for this possibility. It’s simple and quick with a broad range of assistance. Sheena Williams will schedule an appointment time. Invest a little time in exploring this chance to change your life. The HOT Workforce Center is ready to assist you. If you are in one of its outlining counties, go to the nearest workforce center office and tell them you have an interest.

Do You Want to Work for the City Of Waco?

Do You Want to Work for the City Of Waco?

Have you ever seen a great position that has just come up working for the City of Waco? You tell yourself, “I probably can’t work there; I don’t know anyone there.” Well, not to worry. You don’t have to know anyone there or have a relative or friend who can get you in. You just have to read this little article and use it as a “cheat sheet” if you will, to making it a simple task in applying for a job with the City of Waco.

Firstly, let’s go over some important information.
The City of Waco Human Resources Department
is located at City Hall on the First Floor.
The address is
300 Austin Avenue,
Waco, Texas
Their mailing address is
P.O. Box 2570,
Waco, Texas 78702-2570

The following are some very important telephone numbers for you to make a note of and keep in a handy place.

Telephone: (254) 750-5740

24-Hour Jobline: (254) 750-5743

Fax: (254) 750-5737


Now, we will provide you with exact instructions for completing an application for employment with the City of Waco.

PLEASE READ FIRST: Thank you for your interest in employment with the City of Waco. Before completing your application, read the instructions below and take note of the conditions for employment listed under the instructions.


  1. New vacancies will remain open for a minimum of five (5) working days and are subject to close at any time thereafter.
  2. Each position listed in our job openings includes minimum qualifications. Applicants not meeting the minimum qualifications listed for a position will not be considered for employment.
  3. Applications for employment are not accepted for positions that are not currently posted.
  4. Each job posting includes a job title, the hiring supervisor’s name, and a four-digit requisition number. Please copy this information in the appropriate blanks on the application. Answer all questions completely and accurately. If a question does not apply to you, please mark it “NA.” Incomplete applications will not be considered. All answers are subject to verification.
  5. If you are applying for more than one position at the same time, leave the position for which you are applying, requisition number and supervisor’s name blank until copies are made for each position.
  6. A resume may be submitted along with an application, but not in lieu of one. If a resume is attached, all questions on the application must still be answered completely. Do not use the comment “See Resume” on the application. Copies of other job-related documents such as certificates, diplomas or letters of recommendations may also be attached.
  7. Please type or write legibly in black or blue ink.


  1. It is the applicant’s responsibility to ensure that the City of Waco Human Resources Department receives the application(s) for employment.
  2. Some positions require assessment testing. Minimum testing requirements must be achieved for the application to be considered for employment. Applications will only be considered if specific testing requirements, experience and educational requirements are achieved.
  3. All college education requires verification through a certified transcript. Please be prepared to provide the certified transcript at the time of the initial interview.
  4. Applications for employment are reviewed by the hiring supervisor(s). Unsuccessful applicants are not notified when a position is filled due to the high number of applications.
  5. Any applicant who receives a contingent job offer will be given a pre-employment physical, which includes a drug screening.
  6. Applicants who have been convicted of a felony in the last ten (10) years or who are currently on felony probation, deferred adjudication, or parole will not be considered for employment. Finalists for any position are subject to a background investigation.


For a Job Application that can be completed and e-mailed, click here:

Job Application Form

  1. Complete application by typing in all required information and saving to your computer.
  2. Complete an application for each position you are applying for.
  3. E-mail your completed application(s) by pressing the submit button or print and mail.
  4. A resume may also be attached to the e-mail with your application(s), but not submitted in lieu of an application.

In addition to submitting your completed application(s) by e-mail, you can also print out the application, complete (typed or handwritten) and deliver, mail or fax to:

City of Waco Human Resources Department

City Hall, First Floor

300 Austin Avenue

P.O. Box 2570

Waco, Texas 76702-2570

Crank Up Your Creativity

Crank Up Your Creativity

You not only think outside of the box, you operate to its left. You have always been one to find a way around a problem that no one has ever thought of before. If not, then, it’s a skill you can learn! There are always ways to get something done and with a little practice, you can think creatively as well!

Solve a puzzle.
We at the office know that putting the pieces of anything together doesn’t always mean stress-free. It does, however, force you to look at different shapes and figure out how they go together. Much of problem solving is exactly that. You are fitting different parts to make a cohesive whole and a puzzle forces you to look at objects in a different way — to see how you can best make them fit. This is a soft skill you can take with you anywhere.

Read up on a new subject. Outside of broadening your horizons, it gives you another reference you can mentally pull up when deciding what to do about a problem. So you read an article in a newspaper about how butterflies and birds migrate with a natural GPS system. You’re camping and you get lost, you see a butterfly and remember that they use an innate GPS system to migrate. Wait, you brought your phone and it has a GPS emergency signal; you’re as good as saved! All of this only took your head seconds to process. The mind is constantly pulling references in a “six degree of separation” manner in the heads of creative people. Scary, but effective.

Don’t be afraid to be different.
If you have an idea that is different from ones that others have, just say it! Clearly, the same-old same-old isn’t working. If it was, then you wouldn’t still be searching for an idea. Your idea just might be the one that propels your company into an entirely different and much needed direction. Don’t be afraid. There is nothing that says you can’t speak up. Don’t stifle your creativity, by trying to be like everyone else. There are times to fit in and there are times that you need to break away.

Enjoy yourself.
Most creative people are happy to be creative. They smile and they laugh a lot. For those of us who are not always elbow deep in acrylic paint, we need to find another way of finding out joy. Maybe your joy is to organize bookshelves or organizing the life out of your closet. Whatever it is, just do it! You are more likely to come up with a creative solution when you’re relaxed.

Surround yourself with colors.
You do not have to be rainbow-bright to get the creative benefits of color. Start off small and get a colorful letter opener. Maybe you can get a book of postcards you can thumb through with impressionist paintings.  Does that cup towel have chartreuse oranges on them? Grab it and bake some cookies. These little surprises remind you that there are other ways to do things that you may not have thought of before.

Beef up your sense of adventure.
No, we’re not asking you to go on an African Safari. But perhaps a trip to the library to learn about a foreign country is in order. There’s a new store in town. Check it out! You might see something you never knew you wanted! Take a day trip to the nearest small town or big city. It’s all about expanding your mind and letting the possibilities come to you. And that’s way easier when you are at a new place with new possibilities

Being creative is something that is inside everyone.
If you open yourself up, you can find creative solutions to anything.

And this brings us to our last bit of advice.

Do not be afraid.

You won’t know until you try, and trying is the most important part of the creative solution process. Enjoy life!