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Volunteering...Is It Working For Nothing?

by
Joanna Clare

Recent research has shown that during the pandemic, a staggering ten million adults within the UK had offered their services for voluntary work within their communities. Undoubtedly people had more time on their hands than usual due to the enforced lockdowns, so they were able to assist with shopping, collecting medications, food bank distributions, delivery and driving and many more much needed roles during this time of upheaval.

It was ever so slightly reminiscent of former war years, albeit in a different way, when we were familiar with Lord Kitchener’s slogan ‘Your country needs you!’ as we were made aware of the vulnerability of groups and individuals who were facing the pandemic alone and required the intervention of volunteers.

However, there are currently around one and a half million unemployed people in the UK. If you are one of these people, maybe you should consider a voluntary role until you secure a permanent job and there are many reasons why this may be beneficial to you.

Age or your personal circumstances should not be a factor which prevents you from applying so don't let this deter you.

Many volunteering roles do not demand previous experience but will require a positive attitude and enthusiasm. This will allow you to gain invaluable skill within a role that you have always wanted to become involved with or to showcase skills that you already own.

You are in charge when it comes to how often you can volunteer whether it is a couple of hours a month or several days a week as it has to fit in with your schedule meaning you can still have enough time for job hunting and filling out those important applications.

Prospective employers will be suitably impressed with your positive approach to work if you show that you utilise and manage your time constructively. Research shows that 95% of employers agreed that volunteering can be a plausible way of gaining experience to include on your C.V.

Whilst volunteering, you will become aware of any vacancies within that organisation that you may not have otherwise and even other roles of interest in similar companies.

Training and courses are often provided free of charge and the skill and knowledge that you obtain will be invaluable.

Colleagues will be introduced, new friendships will be formed and you will be with like minded people who have your best interests at heart.

Volunteering roles can be found in so many differing posts from stately homes’ garden maintenance to search and rescue organisations, from animal welfare and administrative duties to befriending the recently bereaved- there will be something somewhere to suit everyone.

In addition to giving of yourself to others, it is what you give to yourself that is far more important and that is your self worth.

The more you give of yourself, the happier and more content you will feel. Being of service in some way is tremendously beneficial for your mental health and wellbeing in general. The monetary gains of a permanent job will far outstrip the personal gains of volunteering until you become permanently employed.

You will achieve a sense of pride and a sense of belonging which can be extremely empowering even if it does mean stepping out of your comfort zone.

We can give you access to various careers fairs, advice, and employment opportunities with the UK Careers Fair. As the leading provider of recruitment events in the UK, you’ll be sure to find a spot that fits you. Check out our services now and kick off your career journey.

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