Volunteering is a rewarding way of helping others, working on worthwhile projects and meeting new people. Plus it’s also a great way to spend time when being furloughed. But did you know it can also give you a leg up into employment? Research shows that volunteering increases your chances of finding paid work. And you’ll gain in other ways too.
Here’s how volunteering can help you thrive…
Gain new skills and experience
Volunteering gives you the chance to do things you haven’t done before, or refresh things you may not have done 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.
Universal Credit claimants who are expected to look for work can have their weekly work search hours reduced by up to 50 per cent to accommodate voluntary activity.
Find out more by contacting your work coach to discuss how combining voluntary activity with other work-related activities could help you achieve your job goals and support you in moving into sustainable work more quickly.
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.
Build a track record
If you don’t have much recent work experience, or want to avoid long gaps in your CV (visit Reed’s website for more advice), volunteering can help. It demonstrates to employers that you’re motivated, capable, and are able to keep active and develop yourself when between jobs. You can even stand out from other job candidates because hiring managers often set a lot of store by someone’s willingness to volunteer.
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.
Find out how to start volunteering on the gov.uk website.
Read advice on finding and applying for a volunteering position on the National Careers Service website.