Looking for a career break? Volunteering is a great way to give and importantly to receive.
Volunteering – what a way to develop your career!
Before you think “boring”, hang on; this blog could do many good things for you – in fact, it could change the whole course of your life.
Join UK’s 13 million volunteers!
First of all, what do you get when you cross a CEO, a volunteer manager, and a cleaner? Answer: A situation that is not too uncommon in most voluntary organisations! There’s no doubt that this sector could do with your time and expertise; so why not join the estimated 19 million Brits who volunteer at least once a year and the 13 million-plus who do it regularly?
This is what the Bible has to say about giving our time to others: Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others … (1 Peter 4:10).
The benefits of volunteering
Without question, volunteering is a good thing to do, not just to help others but also for yourself. Here are some possible indirect benefits:
- When you stay home you get too many telemarketing calls
- Your family could use a break from you
- Day-time TV sucks
On the serious side, volunteering can help your employment prospects by:
- Injecting you with renewed passion, energy and self-confidence. This will hopefully enable you to avoid the Strictly Come Dancing response of “Dull, Dull, Dull” at your next job interview!
- Enabling you to rub shoulders with people from different walks of life, giving opportunity to find new sounding boards, fresh sources of wisdom, different perspectives and signposts to new networks
- Giving you the chance for self-development and to step out of your comfort zone with minimal risk and to learn extra skills
- Enhancing your job interview content. When asked about relevant experience or success stories, volunteering can allow you to wax lyrical about your achievements
- Having fun and enjoying life. Don’t forget, people are attracted to happy people and the opposite is also true
Volunteering? You’re kidding! How can I find the time?
Here’s a fact you possibly didn’t know: over 25% of all small, medium sized businesses and 70% of FTSE 100 companies in the UK have pledged to pay their employees for up to three days per year to perform some sort of volunteering. This adds up to an impressive 16,998,896 man-hours per year! (http://benefacto.org)
However, the number of people who actually take up this offer of doing paid voluntary work is rarely above one in five of the workforce and sometimes much lower. So, if you think you might struggle to find time off to carry out voluntary work, why not ask your boss and see if s/he will give you some paid leave?
There are many ways and places to volunteer, such as your local church, cub / scout troop, hospital, youth group, city farm or environmental group, all of which could give you the chance to experience a set of skills and gain a reference that may help you into your next job.
There is also a wealth of resources on the internet:
- Social impact volunteering: http://timebank.org.uk/
- Awesome gap year opportunities: www.prospects.ac.uk/gap_year_opportunities.htm
- A wealth of UK-based volunteering: www.ncvo.org.uk
- Google your local Volunteer Centre or visit: https://do-it.org/
- Volunteer abroad: www.vsointernational.org/