How voluntary work can help you make career decisions

By becoming a volunteer, not only can you help your community but you can help yourself in the process. Volunteering can help you learn new skills and open your eyes to new career options. You can do all sorts of things as a volunteer, from cleaning up at the local animal shelter to working as a public relations officer for a charity.

What are the benefits of volunteering?

You develop experience
The skills and experience you gain can prove invaluable when it comes to job hunting. For example, if you need to show you have good people skills you might demonstrate this through your voluntary work in a local Citizen Advice Bureau or Youth Club. You can then add this to your CV!

You learn what the job is really like
Voluntary work can also help you find out what it is like working in a career that interests you. You will get a feel for what people do in the job and the type of working conditions they have. Even if you find don’t like the job, you’ve learned something useful!

If you’re interested in finding out more about a particular job, work experience is also an option.

You learn something about yourself
Voluntary work may help you develop a better picture of yourself. For example, you may find out how you work within a team, how you deal with customers or whether you really like working with animals.

You demonstrate your interest
By volunteering, you show your interest and enthusiasm for a type of work or organisation. Some employers might even expect you to have done this. For example, it is unlikely you will be able to get a job as a zookeeper without having done some volunteer work at a local zoo or animal shelter.

Voluntary work can also put you into contact with the right people. They can see firsthand what you are like on the job, while you are showing them you can make a commitment to something over time.

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