09 Dec, 2022

How Volunteering can advance your Job Search

Volunteering for a charity or non-profit organisation can be a great way to give back to the community, learn new skills, develop your knowledge and understanding of current issues and support your career growth.

I have been an avid supporter of volunteering and supporting local causes for some time now and I always recommend that jobseekers seek out these opportunities in their local area. During a period of unemployment, it can be difficult to have the courage, confidence, and willpower to get out there and look for fulfilling positions and roles – however, volunteering can be the perfect way for someone to build up their confidence and recognise their self-worth by helping others who are less fortunate or need additional support.

In my personal experience, I found that volunteering has taught me valuable life lessons and given me opportunities that I would not normally have had. I found that volunteering can help jobseekers’ job searching journey in the following ways:

1. Volunteering can help you build confidence, resilience, commitment, and motivation.

Whether you take time out of your day to support your local library, hospital, children’s centre, school or animal shelter, your commitment to help can aid you to get up in the morning ready for a fresh start and to tackle the challenges of the day. Do not forget, the people you are supporting handle these situations daily so you are there to help ease their workload and appreciate the cause they support. You can gain experience and knowledge about the inner workings of a charity or local organisation. You can meet new people, deal with difficult issues, and become a more well-rounded, more down to earth individual. All these new skills and experiences can count as work experience that you can add to your resume.

2. Volunteering can help you build your network and meet new people and connections.

When you visit an organisation that focuses on giving, rather than receiving, you will meet some wonderful individuals who focus on making the world a better place for all. These people can teach you skills, share their knowledge and tell you tales with important life lessons. You may not be able to connect with everyone you meet, but building more connections may enable you to meet the right people at the right time. When that time comes, a hiring manager or a company decision maker may be looking for the right person – you.

3. Volunteering can help you shine as an individual – your personality can help you stand out!

When you volunteer, make sure you volunteer for the right reasons – to support a local organisation and their cause. Volunteering can aid your professional life; however, the main benefits are for you as a person – as volunteering requires a certain personality and demeanour. When you help others, your kind and caring nature can show your commitment, motivation, and people skills – which many employers look for in a potential candidate.  At the same time, when you use your personal time and put effort into helping a charity or other organisation, it showcases your work ethic and time management skills as well as your dedication. You can display your passion for a cause and gain valuable experience. You may even find a new field or industry that you have not thought of entering before.