Volunteering is a great way to earn experience and network with people you may not normally have a chance to meet. On a purely personal level, the benefits of volunteer work can be big. But if you are looking for a job, or looking to switch careers, it can also open up some great opportunities.
Read on to find out how can volunteering benefit your life and your job search.
Builds Skills – Volunteering can be an excellent way to build new skills or improve existing ones. With many organisations desperately needing a helping hand, you will likely find yourself filling many different roles. That means you can really improve your confidence, adaptability and resilience.
You gain experience – Most employers will think your volunteer work is just as relevant as paid work. They are looking for candidates that have the experience to meet the responsibilities of the advertised job. So if you are looking to switch careers but don’t have the experience, finding some volunteering opportunities might be the best way forward.
Volunteering looks great on a resume – Having some volunteer experience on your resume could be the difference between getting the job or not. If you are neck and neck with other candidates, your time spent giving back could be the thing that sways potential employers.
Meet people and grow your network – One of the great benefits of volunteer work is the equal nature of the work. No matter your job, whether a CEO at a big company, or a part-time worker in an entry level role, everyone is there for a shared purpose. To help those that need it.
This means you may be able to meet people that you ordinarily wouldn’t have a chance to. Which is a great way to make new friends and grow your professional network.
Great for your mental health – Another volunteering benefit that is sometimes overlooked is the effect on your health. By joining a community of likeminded individuals working towards a shared goal, you can combat the impacts of loneliness and social isolation. Volunteering can also minimize symptoms of mental illness and improve self-esteem.
Boosts your physical health – People who volunteer live longer and healthier lives. While the role you do might not be that physical, it’s still an opportunity to get moving. Research shows that older volunteers receive the most benefit, so volunteering might slow down the arrival of those grey hairs!
How do I find an organisation to volunteer for?
There are many organisations out there that would love to benefit from your experience and desire to help. Start by thinking about what you are passionate about and what skills you have to offer an organisation. From working with animals, children, the environment, or those in vulnerable situations there are many chances to give back.
You could have a conversation with your placement consultant as they may be able to help you find a local cause in need.
.Casiday, R., Kinsman, E., Fisher, C., & Bambra, C. (2019). Volunteering and Health: What Impact Does It Really Have?. Volunteering England.