This week is National Volunteering Week and I was invited to discuss the benefits of volunteering on BBC Radio Northampton.
I have always been a big believer in volunteering for the advantages it can have to help career progression. When I am working with individuals to develop their CV I always recommend that they include any volunteering they have done and tease out the skills that they have used in the process. New skills can be gained that someone can then go on to use in paid employment. These can include planning, goal setting, budgeting, supervising and prioritising. Existing skills can also be used and developed further.
Volunteering can be fun particularly if you are doing something you enjoy. Many employers now prefer to take on employees who have done some volunteering over and above those who have not and many employers believe that volunteering adds to skills. Having volunteering on their CV provides a complete picture of an individual showing examples of commitment, dedication and passion and that they have other interests outside of work.
The advantages of volunteering include gaining new experiences, meeting diverse people, being part of the community, developing social skills, improving motivation, developing a sense of achievement.
For individuals who have been out of work for a long time it can help to develop self confidence and combat depression.
For anyone who is looking to change career, volunteering can help by gaining experience in a new sector.