Volunteering offers many benefits, both personally and professionally, having a positive impact on your future career prospects and how employers view you. In this article, we bring you the top six reasons why volunteering can help your career and how you can make the most of the opportunities that arise from doing so.
1. You’ll develop new skills
Whilst volunteering allows you to give something back to the community, it also allows you to develop and build on your own skills. Volunteering can help develop strong communication skills for example, as it gives you the opportunity to converse with a wide range of people from all different backgrounds.
Not only will you develop specific skills such as problem solving, organisational and interpersonal skills all of which you can apply to future roles, but you’ll also gain invaluable experience from being in a workplace environment, which will, in turn, help you in deciding on the type of career you think you will be best suited to, and where your strengths lie.
If you haven’t worked within an office environment before, volunteering is a good way of building your confidence when doing things such as speaking to customers on the telephone or face to face, resolving issues and working as part of a team as well as on your own initiative.
2. It looks good on your CV
It’s one thing having all the relevant qualifications to secure a job, but employers tend to look at the bigger picture these days. Volunteering experience can help your CV to stand out from the crowd, whilst showing to your prospective employer that you can manage your time effectively, you work well with others and you can make a commitment and stick to it.
It also shows that you can think outside the box, and employers like to see that you can demonstrate some initiative. It will also allow you to back up what you say on your CV when showcasing your skills and attributes, as you can demonstrate that you have already put these skills into practice within a workplace environment.
3. It gives you a taste of different roles and industries
Volunteering can help determine whether a particular role or industry is the right one for you by giving you the opportunity to gain experience - without committing precious years of your career.
As most volunteering opportunities carry flexible hours to work around your own schedule, you can commit to multiple volunteering initiatives at the same time in order to gain as much experience across a wide variety of industries as possible.
4. It builds your confidence
It’s amazing how much impact a little volunteer work can do on your self-esteem. It can boost your confidence, make you more productive and generally, make you feel better about yourself and your future prospects.
If you’re going through a spell of unemployment and you’re worried about going back into a workplace environment, or perhaps you’ve just left school and not sure what to do next, volunteering can help to bring some reassurance. It’s also a good way of gaining some routine, especially if you have been out of employment for a while.
5. It shows you're driven by more than money
By committing to volunteer work, it shows future employers that you’re not only driven by monetary values, but by the desire to succeed and make a change. This will help you stand out from the crowd when it comes to applying for your dream job in the future.
It’s really important to remember to shout about your volunteering experience. It is something that is often left out of a CV or an application form, but you’d be surprised just how much brownie points it’ll get you.
6. It expands your network
Volunteer work exposes you to a wide range of new people. You never know, you could meet your future employer through volunteering, which is why it’s so important to make the most of any opportunities that might come your way. So, go out there, get your name heard and make yourself super employable!
To keep up to date with the latest paid for and voluntary opportunities across North Wales, make sure you sign up for our email alerts here. And if you need some expert tips on how to write your CV, craft an impressive cover letter or how you can best prepare for an interview, don’t forget to check out our Career Advice Series.
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