Many of us have thought about volunteering, but very few of us actually get out there to do it. Because, while it is a fine idea to do something good and helpful for others or society on a wider level, we often find the idea less appealing once we’ve finished a hard day’s work!
Volunteer work is something which has nothing but positives to it! Firstly you will receive the most obvious and talked about benefit of volunteer work – the warm glow of doing something good! There are further benefits however – for example volunteer work is a great way to try out an industry which you’ve never worked in before. On top of this it is a good way to begin networking for working full time within an industry – meeting people potentially as passionate as you is a good way to ensure a helping hand in the future. Also, who knows? You might even make some friends!
Education and CV
Volunteer work can also provide training and education within a sector. We all know the best way to learn is by doing and volunteering allows you to gain those skills by a kind of osmosis rather than “hard,” training. This kind of training is valuable not only for the actual skill you learn but what they can add to your CV.
Where and How Should I Volunteer?
There are many obvious areas which you can do volunteer work in but they break down into two main sections; volunteering for the experience and volunteering for the job!
The first covers areas where you will usually be doing something good for someone else or the wider community. This can include environmental conservation, learning support, taking care of the sick, running a club or community programme, fundraising for a cause, helping the homeless or maybe just helping out with a charity doing administration. You can get involved in these areas by going through a charity such as Shelter or the Samaritans.
Volunteering for a job is much less rewarding. This is where you usually throw yourself in for slave labour in the hope of being recognised for your skills and eventually hired! This can include jobs such as TV Production running, Football coach, Newspaper journalist, or a researcher. While these jobs may not be as rewarding (financially or otherwise!) as others they can be a great first step into a new job or career.
If you’ve never volunteered before this may be the time to do it!