Charity work! Why bother? Here are six great reasons why it will benefit you (and others) if you volunteer in some way:
Giving back to your community
Most people choose to volunteer in their local area. As well as making your placement easy to get to, you’ll also gain the satisfaction from knowing you’re making your neighbourhood a better place to live. So whether it is helping in a charity shop, getting involved in a community project or some other opportunity, you can contribute to providing a service or improving your local area.
Boosting your own confidence
Been feeling a bit bored with life? What you need is a change of scenery and a new challenge. Volunteering can mean you throw yourself into something completely new and different. This does amazing things for your confidence and self-esteem, as you overcome new challenges and get involved in something you have not done before.
Meeting new people
Doing something new will often bring the opportunity to meet and interact with new people. Volunteering alongside others can build new relationships and friendships, as well as providing the opportunity to develop your interpersonal skills.
Gaining valuable skills
In many ways, a volunteer placement is similar to a job – you have a role and responsibilities to go with it. You’ll be working in a team, probably with a list of tasks to complete and some kind of deadline or end point to work towards. Think of volunteering as a ‘starter job’. It’s a no-pressure opportunity for you to gain a valuable insight into what it’s like to have a real job. What you learn will also give you some fantastic material to talk about in interviews. So it is a great way to start on the work ladder, or to re-join the work force after a break.
Boosting your CV
You’ve probably heard that the job market is pretty tough right now. Having some extra experience can really help you stand out from the crowd when you start applying for a paid role. Three quarters of employers say they would recruit someone with volunteering experience over someone without – and 94% of employees who have volunteered in the past say it helped them to get their first job or promotion. Why do employers love volunteering? Because it shows you are motivated, experienced and able to work with anyone.
Helping a charity
Often volunteering opportunities are for charitable organisations, and so when you are volunteering, the charity is able to redirect its funds into the work in which it is involved. So you are helping in providing a service for others, but also enabling the charity to work more effectively, as well as gaining valuable experience and benefits yourself. It’s a WIN, WIN, WIN situation!