Volunteering- what a way to make a living!

The reaction of a lot of people to volunteering tends to be “there’s no way I’m working for free.” I am extremely passionate about volunteering and I hope you will be too by the time you finish reading this blog.

Top 5 reasons to volunteer: Why working for free could make you a top earner…

1. There are lots of exciting opportunities

A quick 5 minute web search of opportunities in Canterbury reveals opportunities to work with people who are homeless, be a guide leader, prison befriender, art gallery volunteer, translator, gardener, cricket coach, youth worker, dog walker and park ranger to name but a few. I can guarantee you that wherever your skills and passions lie that there will be an organisation out there who will want to use you!

2. Volunteering is flexible

If you haven’t had a job before, are struggling to find work or simply feel you can’t commit to work alongside your course then volunteering will fill the gaps in your CV with some fantastic experience. The great thing about volunteering is that it can be as flexible as you like. You can volunteer one day a month or 5 days a week, it’s up to you. You can volunteer during the day or in the evenings. Also there are some opportunities that allow you to volunteer from home so whatever your circumstances volunteering is possible.

3. You can gain new skills and try new things, you might even get a qualification.

You can learn things about a different work sector and try out new ways of working. Not got the skills for that dream job? Well find a volunteering opportunity that will allow you to develop them. You don’t have to have previous experience to volunteer, you will be taught what to do and how to complete tasks. You might even find that you are great at things you thought you would never enjoy doing. Volunteering looks great on job and postgraduate applications. Some organisations will put you through work based qualifications if you volunteer with them for a certain length of time. Not sure about a career area? You can read all you want about a career area or job but you can never quite tell if you will really like it until you give it a go. It’s a bit like clothes shopping, things can look great on the hanger but when you try them on they don’t quite fit. Finding a volunteering opportunity that lets you try out that job sector will make you more confident, more aware and more knowledgeable about that line of work. If you are confident that you are suited to the career it should be much easier to convince an employer that you are the right candidate.

4. You will make friends and contacts

Volunteering will introduce you to other people and can help you make contacts in that industry. Remember that volunteering will provide you with a positive reference for work or education.

5. Volunteering is fun!

Volunteering will make you stand out from the crowd, It provides that added extra on your CV. It will give you experience to draw from and it will increase your skills. It most definitely will help you in your career. It is also a lot of fun, remember that it is something you are doing in your own time and it should be something that you enjoy.

Make sure you choose something that you are interested in and somewhere you are happy going to. Enjoy making a difference and enjoy making friends and socialising. Give volunteering a try and when people next say to you that volunteering is a waste of time you can tell them otherwise!

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