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Changing Careers? Zig-zag Your Way Into New Territory!

Ilona Vanderwoude | CAREEREALISM

Meet Maria

Last week I spoke with Maria, who is also a “renaissance woman,” meaning she loves variety and is one of those people trying to fit a million passions into one lifetime.

She majored in computer science and started her career in technology; coding, programming, etc.

Several years into her first job, her employer facilitated a lunch hour volunteer program through which Maria got to teach career-related workshops to young adults.

It wasn’t long before working with people had become Maria’s main interest.

Maria also volunteered trough Chicago Cares, which connects volunteers to 200+ opportunities in various areas ( They offer one-time volunteer opportunities. No weekly or monthly commitment. She joined field trips with seniors, did art activities with children, helped create resumes for homeless adults, tutored in the lab, helped prepare food being donated to an event, and helped serve meals at a Salvation’s Army.

Tip: Chicago Cares is a great way to test out non-profit or social services work for anyone living in the Chicago area. Some other cities have similar programs (i.e.:

Moving into Social Services→