In today’s society, it can be hard for young people to find employment. As a result, many find alternative routes to achieve their goals through apprenticeships and internships. However, many miss out on volunteering opportunities as they feel that these positions are unpaid and therefore not worth their time. Despite this, volunteering can often have many benefits.
So why should you consider volunteering?
By volunteering, you will gain the chance to develop your skills. Volunteering can help you build upon existing skills to help the greater community. Volunteering may also involve a wide variety of tasks which will enable you to develop soft skills such as problem solving and communication. Soft skills are much in demand by employers and are often not gained through traditional education and qualifications. These opportunities will help you to achieve your full potential and to make yourself more marketable to future employers.
In an extremely competitive job market, volunteering experience gives you a chance to stand out from the crowd. By volunteering for a larger company, it demonstrates your potential to future employers. It also shows your commitment to an organisation and enables you to show qualities such as dedication and drive to succeed in a role even if it is unpaid. Volunteering gives you unique opportunities that other candidates may not have, making you more attractive to the employer. “According to Deloitte, recruiters are drawn to your volunteer work. 82% of hiring professionals prefer applicants with volunteer experience.” As a result, it is clear to see that volunteering is beneficial in the long run.
Volunteering can further your career in other ways. It offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long term commitment. These roles provide a valuable insight into various sectors that you wouldn’t find anywhere else and help you discover new passions and interests. It also gives you experience in the relevant field, which will make employers in that sector interested in you as a candidate for future employment.
Additionally, volunteering improves your wellbeing. Unemployment can be difficult and drastically affects your mental health. Psychology Today states that “volunteers are happier and healthier than non-volunteers”. This is due to the fact that with a volunteer role, you can help the community whilst also gaining valuable experience. As an added benefit, it combats low self-esteem and improves confidence by working towards something worthwhile. Volunteers have opportunities to expand their social network and may make valuable contacts who will later introduce them to potential employers. They are a useful source of references when applying for future employment.
It is clear to see that volunteer work has multiple benefits and that young people should consider these roles for employment.
Written by Sarah Oakes