Whether you’re at school or university, a postgraduate, changing career, looking to fill a career gap or simply looking for a new job volunteering can be incredibly beneficial for the following reasons:
- It gives you the experience you may need to get the job. In roles which state you need experience, but to get the experience you need a job, volunteering may be the only way forward.
- It fills a gap on your CV. It shows you have been proactive in keeping your skills up to date, learning new skills and keeping in touch professionally.
- You learn something new. Volunteering can provide the opportunity to learn many different skills. Not least of all for managers who must learn a different style to motivate workers who could walk out at any time.
- You can build your network online and face-to-face. You can find out about opportunities and get employees or people in your chosen industry to refer you, greatly improving your chances of success.
- It enables you to line up credible references in your field of choice. If your experience is limited, references from people who have seen you at work may put you ahead of other applicants.
- It demonstrates your passion. Employers want top candidates who really love what they do – and doing it for free says exactly that.
- In the UK you can still claim benefits. As long as you’re actively seeking paid work and you’re available if any interviews come up you can still claim your job seekers’ allowance.
- You focus on something other than your lack of a job. It keeps you busy and your spirits up as you’re helping others and meeting new people.
- You are the most likely candidate for the next available job where you are volunteering. Providing you perform really well they may even create a job for you.
- It will boost your morale and self-worth and help you to become clearer about your career goals.
Volunteering is not only good for your career, according to studies it’s good for your health too, it’s obviously good for society and it gives you a sense of purpose. So if you’re out of work at the moment, put your hand up, it could do you more good than you could possibly imagine.