Volunteering can mean setting up a bake sale. It can mean speaking out at a rally, working in a charity shop, or helping around at a facility. Volunteering includes any work done with no payment or profit in return. Volunteering is vital in shaping a kind and inclusive society. But why is it good for you, personally? How will it help your future and why should you include volunteering in your weekly or monthly routine?
Continue reading this article to have all of your questions answered and to find out exactly why volunteering is so beneficial to you.
1. Volunteering can help future employment
Any volunteering work or jobs you have done can be listed on your CV. Not only can this act as work experience but it can also make you stand out from the crowd. If the volunteering work you have done is directly related to the job you are applying for, it can be listed under work experience.
However, if your volunteering was more general and not directly related to the job, you can still list it on a job application: under ‘Volunteering Experience’. For more information about this, check out this article by Insurance Careers.
Volunteering experience can help your future employers to realise you have completed meaningful work in the past. It means that your potential employer will glance twice at your CV because it is different from everyone else’s.
If you have already completed some volunteering experience and are now looking for a part time job, visit this top 15 list on the Think Student website advising students in the UK.
2. Volunteering can help you meet new people
Volunteering can help you increase your social circle as you will come across many people. This can include customers, managers or fellow volunteers. You will be working alongside several or many other people.
Whilst volunteering, you can also be socialising to interact with new people who are working alongside you. This will improve your socialising and communication skills.
As a volunteer, you can even discover new opportunities by meeting other people similar to you. In this way, you can make friends with interests similar to yours. The people you meet along the way may remain with you for a very long time.
These connections may be useful in helping you find future employment or volunteer work. The socialising may also help to improve your mental health and help to fill your time.
3. Volunteering can give you work experience
As mentioned above, if the volunteering work which you have completed is directly related the field of work which you are applying to, then it can be added on your CV. You can list it under work experience. Though not always applicable, you are much more likely be accepted for a job if you have more work experience.
Volunteering is especially useful to students. This can include high school, college and university students. The reason it is so useful is because, when applying for a volunteering position, employers generally have relatively low application requirements.
This means that a student, who had never had never worked before, will be able to gain some work experience by volunteering. If you are looking for other ideas on where you can find work experience, visit this article on the Think Student website.
4. Volunteering can help your local community
Not only does volunteering help you fill up your CV and find a new interest, but it makes you a kinder person. By contributing meaningful work to your community, you will be helping out other people.
This help may extend to your local community, or even may contribute to helping a national social issue. To find out more about what difference your volunteering is making to the community, click here to visit the Volunteer Scotland website.
When you complete volunteering work, you will be working out of your own good will. This can help to kindle the happiness effect and also will bring fulfilment to your life.
This is especially as your work can have such positive contributions. For example, your work may be contributing to reducing poverty, increasing awareness of climate change, or any social issue which you decide on.
5. Volunteering can help you find a new interest
Many people begin volunteering to fill up their free time. Wouldn’t you also rather be finding a new interest or passion than sitting at home, on the couch, staring at the ceiling?
Your new volunteering job may be the key to your new lifelong hobby. For example, if you discover that you enjoy painting or drawing while making posters for as social cause, you have unlocked a new interest.
On the other hand, if you decided to volunteer in a museum, you may become experienced in history of famous art.
Many volunteers start off feeling a little uncertain and confused in their role. However, as you gain more experience and stick at it, you will most likely find that you are starting to enjoy your job and find interest in it.
6. Volunteering can help you develop skills
Volunteering can help you to develop and improve a wide range of transferable skills. Transferable skills are those which are seen as a core set of values and abilities which can be applied and adapted to a wide range of jobs and sectors.
The types of transferable skills that you will hone and perfect through volunteering are listed below.
- Leadership qualities
- Communication skills
- Teamwork skills
- Problem-solving skills
- Decision-making skills
- Training and mentoring skills
- Time management
- Organisation and planning
For more information about the transferable skills you gain from volunteering, check out this article by Rosterfy.
7. Volunteering can be a fun activity with friends
Voluntary work does not need to be a long lonely and dull couple of hours. Instead, you can contribute to your community alongside friends or family.
Find a couple of friends or family members who would be interested in spending couple of hours a week volunteering with you. Once you have gathered a little group, you can discuss what type of volunteering you would like to do.
Maybe you can all sign up to a charity shop to work in shifts together. Perhaps you can all work together to raise money through a bake sale. The options are limitless.
Also, by keeping yourself in regular contact with familiar faces, volunteering can in fact help to combat depression. It will help you to feel as though you are part of a community. To find a very thorough list on the effects of volunteering visit the WCSU website.
8. Volunteering can help you contribute to a charity or social issue
Volunteering helps to kindle the happiness effect. This is because by making others happy, you will become happier yourself.
You can help out various charities by contacting them or applying to work in charity shops. A few large UK and global charities which you may want to consider are listed below.
- Oxfam – Oxfam is a global movement of people working together to end the injustice of poverty. Visit the Oxfam website by clicking this link here.
- Barnardo’s – This is a charity which helps care for vulnerable children. Find the Barnardo’s website here.
- Cancer Research – Find out more about the Cancer Research charity, and how to apply to be a volunteer by clicking on this link here.
- The British Heart Foundation – If you would like to apply to The British Hear Foundation, or would like to find more information about it, visit their website by clicking here.
- The British Red Cross – To find more information on the British Red Cross, visit their home page by clicking here.
I hope you enjoy volunteering and find it as fulfilling and fun as I do!