Jessica Pang-Parks, a renowned leader in the volunteer engagement space, shares her invaluable expertise on leveraging volunteering as a powerful tool for newcomers. From understanding the significance of volunteering in Canadian culture to finding the right opportunities and maximizing their benefits, Jessica provides practical strategies and actionable insights to help newcomers accelerate their journey to success.

Episode’s Sponsor:

The Professional Growth Wheel: In just 5 minutes, you’ll get a powerful visualization of your strengths and growth areas across 8 key dimensions like confidence, communication, and cultural assimilation. As a thank you for listening, this assessment is FREE for you. You will receive your personalized Growth Wheel and tailored recommendations to help you bridge the gap between where you are and where you want to be in your career.

Episode Highlights:

  • The Essence of Volunteering in Canada
    • Jessica sheds light on the importance of volunteering in Canadian society, revealing how it is deeply ingrained in the culture and even integrated into educational requirements. She explains why volunteering is not just about giving back but also a valuable opportunity for personal and professional growth.
  • Finding the Right Volunteer Fit
    • Jessica offers guidance on identifying volunteer opportunities that align with one’s passions, interests, and career goals. She emphasizes the need to assess the organization’s values, processes, and expectations to ensure a mutually beneficial experience.
  • Maximizing the Benefits of Volunteering
    • From building valuable skills and networks to gaining local experience and references, Jessica highlights the numerous advantages of volunteering for newcomers. She shares insights on how to leverage these opportunities effectively and avoid potential pitfalls.

Key Takeaways:

  • Embrace the power of volunteering as a newcomer in Canada, as it is deeply rooted in the culture and offers invaluable opportunities for personal and professional growth.
  • Identify volunteer opportunities that align with your passions, interests, and career goals, and thoroughly assess the organization’s values and processes to ensure a mutually beneficial experience.
  • Leverage volunteering to build valuable skills, expand your network, gain local experience, and secure references, while being mindful of potential risks and avoiding situations where your time and expertise may be exploited.
  • Seek guidance and support from experienced professionals like Jessica and organizations dedicated to assisting newcomers, as they can provide valuable insights and resources to navigate the volunteering landscape effectively.
  • Approach volunteering with an open mind, a willingness to learn, and a commitment to contributing your unique talents and perspectives to enrich the community.

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Where to find Jessica

Where to find Miguel


In this episode, we cover:

  • 00:00 – Welcome to Newcomers ON FIRE!
  • 02:38 – Meet Jessica Pang-Parks: The Volunteer Engagement Expert
  • 04:06 – Volunteering: Canada’s Way of Life
  • 09:57 – The Power of Volunteering for Newcomers
  • 17:35 – Decent Work and Volunteer Respect
  • 21:56 – Finding the Right Volunteering Opportunities
  • 31:06 – Overcoming Barriers: Background Checks and More
  • 35:17 – The Canadian Non-Profit Sector: Opportunities and Challenges
  • 44:07 – Mastering Time Management: The Key to Success
  • 56:20 – Gratitude: The Foundation of Jessica’s Journey