Volunteering is a rewarding way of helping others, working on worthwhile projects and meeting new people. It’s also a great way to spend time when being furloughed. Did you know it can also give you a leg up into employment? Research shows you increase your chances of finding a paid job if you work for free. You’ll gain in other ways too – here’s how volunteering can help you thrive.
1. Gain new skills and experience. Volunteering gives you the chance to do things you haven’t done before, or recently. For example many volunteers take on management tasks, supervise others, work with the general public or gain skills in their field of interest. Your new skills and experience will make you a better job candidate in future and help you gain confidence.
2. Think things through. If you’re not sure of your next step, or you’ve been looking for work for a while and need a change of focus, volunteering is a good way of exploring different roles, organisations and types of work.
3. Build a track record. If you don’t have much recent work experience, or want to avoid long gaps in your CV, volunteering can help. It demonstrates to employers that you’re motivated, capable, and able to keep active and develop yourself while unemployed. You can even stand out from other job candidates because hiring managers often set a lot of store by someone’s willingness to volunteer.
4. Widen your job search network. Volunteering, especially if it’s in a role related to your target job, can bring you into contact with people who can tell you about job openings and training opportunities and support you in your job search.