What do you get when you cross a CEO, a volunteer manager, and a cleaner? A situation that is not too uncommon in most voluntary organisations. There’s no doubt that the voluntary 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?
Before you think ‘boring’, hang on; this article could do many good things for you. In fact, it could change the whole course of your life. I don’t think it’s possible to exaggerate the positive impact of volunteering; not just on others, but also on your own life’s chances.
Churchill once said: ‘We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give.’
The benefits of volunteering
Let’s take a look at how volunteering could enable employment doors to open for you through the experiences and insights you gain and the new people you meet.
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).
Without question, volunteering is a good thing to do, not just to help others but also yourself. Here are some indirect benefits:
On the serious side, volunteering can help your employment prospects by:
How can I find the time?
Here’s a fact you possibly didn’t know: more than 25% of all small and 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 volunteer work. This adds up to an impressive 16,998,896 hours per year! However, the number of people who actually take up this offer is rarely above 20% of the workforce. So if you think you might struggle to take time off to carry out voluntary work, why not ask if your boss is willing to give you some paid leave?
There are many ways to volunteer, such as in your local church, Cub/Scout troop, hospital, youth group, city farm or environmental group, all of which will give you the chance to gain new skills and a reference that could help you secure your next job.
There is also a wealth of resources on the internet: