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If you think that volunteering is only good for those who want to work in charity or social care, then think again. Volunteers are hugely important to charities and other not-for-profit organisations, including schools, nurseries, community centres, museums and art galleries. Volunteering comes with many benefits, from the warm fuzzy feeling you get from helping others, to impact that it has on your own CV.
You might think that having a part-time paid job is far more important than voluntary work (we all have bills to pay after all), yet voluntary work is more valuable than you think, especially with regards to your future career prospects.
Still not convinced? Here are some reasons why you should consider volunteering:
No, it’s not a cliché. Helping others really can make you feel good.
Many charities and organisations that take on volunteers rely on volunteers. Giving up your free time to help out, either with looking after children, collecting money for charities, or helping with a community project can really make a difference.
A lot can be learnt from volunteering, provided that you are volunteering for an organisation that interests you.
It may teach you how to work with children or old people, or you might learn more about a particular industry. Often the greatest skill that you learn whilst volunteering is teamwork.
Some organisations have hundreds of volunteers working on a single project. Others might only have a few. Either way, when you volunteer, you’re likely to meet people you wouldn’t normally have met otherwise.
If you find yourself volunteering at a company that you might like to work for in the future, then make sure that you build up some contacts.
Volunteering is a great distinguisher on a CV. Those who have volunteered are likely to be noticed by an employer, even if the sector that they volunteered in is different from the career path they are pursuing.
It shows an employer that you have taken a proactive approach to building up your life skills and have worked selflessly. Obviously, if you’re thinking of getting a job in a school or in an art gallery, then volunteering in those areas will always benefit your CV.