Productive Community Services

Contribute to Your Society

In the current environment of a challenging and competitive private sector job market and growing dissatisfaction with industries such as banking which are perceived at best with guarded skepticism and at worst with distrust and dislike, an increasing number of individuals are pursuing opportunities within the community services sector. Whether acting as a volunteer or as a full-time employee, working in community services provides the opportunity to make a productive contribution to society. To this extent, working in productive community services is appealing to a wide range of people.

This article seeks to provide some background information for those individuals who have an interest in the service provision sector within their communities. The time has never been better for engagement in the community, with increasing demand and opportunities for individuals to make a positive contribution.

Types of Community Services

Depending on the community you live in, a wide range of services may be offered. Many communities offer some level of education services, both formal and informal. These can range from daycare services for busy parents who are unable to afford private childcare while they work, to youth and adult classes offered at community colleges, running from basic subjects in maths, science and humanities to art, drama and music programs. A background in any of these fields or an interest in teaching in general can afford individuals to make a productive contribution on the education front.

Many communities also offer some health care services as well. These may include basic medical centers, outpatient care, public health initiatives focusing on objectives like HIV/AIDS awareness or reducing substance abuse, and even care for the elderly and disabled. Depending on what health services your community offers, this too can represent a rewarding opportunity.

Another area of service provision that many communities offer is programs targeted at youth, especially youth at risk of unhealthy lifestyle choices or activities. These programs aim at taking at risk youth away from hanging out on the streets or shopping centers, and instead giving them a chance to participate in productive, engaging activities with mentor figures that can help encourage them to make good lifestyle choices with respect to behavior, education, and substance use. Working as a volunteer or counselor in a community organization focusing on these types of services affords the potential to have a lasting impact on a population that is in real need.

Getting Started in Community Services

Depending on your background and training, you may already have the experience and qualifications necessary to work in community services. Individuals need not necessarily have formal training in the social sector or community work to make a productive contribution. Community service organizations are often comprised of individuals from a variety of backgrounds, bringing a number of different skill sets to the table—united by a common desire to give something back to the community.

For those individuals who are unable to commit to full time work in the community services sector, volunteering presents another opportunity to engage productively in the community. With a range of opportunities and time commitments, individuals who are interested in this possibility should contact their community administrators to see what volunteer positions exist.