Volunteers Week runs from 1st-7th June and is an opportunity to celebrate and inspire. Volunteering not only benefits communities and organisations but can also bring personal development and fulfilment. From personal growth to professional development and even job search advantages, volunteering can offer transformative experiences that shape individuals and positively impact their lives.
By engaging in meaningful work and making a positive impact, volunteers experience a deep sense of personal satisfaction and a renewed perspective on life. This fulfilment transcends into other areas, including their professional lives, as it helps build self-confidence, enhances social skills, and expands personal networks, fostering a sense of belonging and connection.
As a volunteer, you often acquire new skills, whether it’s leadership, communication, project management, or problem-solving. These skills can significantly enhance one’s employability and make you more attractive to potential employers. Volunteering also provides a platform to explore diverse interests, discover hidden talents, and broaden horizons through exposure to different industries and work environments.
Helping your job search
Volunteering can directly impact your job search. It allows individuals to gain relevant experience, especially for those seeking to enter a new field or industry. Volunteering demonstrates a proactive attitude, a strong work ethic, and a genuine commitment to making a difference, which are qualities highly valued by employers. It provides tangible examples of teamwork, collaboration, and adaptability, which can be highlighted in CVs and interviews to showcase transferable skills.
Furthermore, volunteering expands professional networks. Engaging with fellow volunteers, community members, and organisational leaders can lead to valuable connections and referrals for job opportunities. Volunteering exposes individuals to a wide range of professionals who may offer guidance, mentorship, or even direct job leads.
Need some ideas on how to volunteer?
There are lots of ways to give back in a volunteer role including:
- Skills-Based Volunteering: Offer your expertise and professional skills to a non-profit organisation. For example, if you’re a marketer, you could help with social media campaigns or develop promotional materials. Skills-based volunteering allows you to enhance your existing skills, gain practical experience, and expand your professional network.
- Leadership Roles: Take on leadership positions within volunteer organisations. Leading teams, organising events, or managing projects can help develop valuable leadership, communication, and problem-solving skills. These experiences can be leveraged on your CV to showcase your ability to handle responsibilities and lead effectively.
- Mentoring and Coaching: Volunteer as a mentor or coach to support individuals in their personal or professional development. Sharing your knowledge and experience can not only make a positive impact on others but also enhance your own interpersonal and mentoring skills.
- Board Service: Joining the board of a non profit organization allows you to contribute your expertise at a strategic level. It provides an opportunity to develop governance skills, decision-making abilities, and a deep understanding of organisational management.
- International Volunteering: Engaging in international volunteer programs exposes you to different cultures, customs, and perspectives. It promotes global awareness, intercultural communication skills, and adaptability.
As Volunteers Week UK unfolds as well as celebrating the difference volunteers make and the immense benefits they bring to others, let’s also remember the diverse types of volunteering that also offer valuable opportunities for personal and professional growth, emphasising the transformative power of volunteering in shaping individuals and their careers.