The first week of June marks National Volunteers Week. Volunteering and work placements are a great way to gain extra experience and might make the difference between you clinching that vital job role.
Whether you are a student who is looking for placement during the summer or if you have found yourself recently out of work, securing a voluntary role can ensure that you gain new skills and network with the right people.
With that in mind, we’ve have come up with 5 ways in how you can seek voluntary work:
1) Research: Before you decide to gain some voluntary work, it is important to research exactly what kind of work you like to do and in which sector. The list is endless of the organisations who are seeking volunteers, so it important to do the groundwork before you approach any of them.
2) Network: Sometimes due to the industry which you choose to volunteer in, it can be difficult to gain a suitable placement. If you are a student who is trying to get a work placement with a certain company, it is important to network with key individuals first so you are fresh in their mind and they are aware you are passionate about the role. Social networks such as Twitter and LinkedIn are perfect to do this online.
3) Search Online: The internet is one of the best places to find voluntary work; a quick Google will bring up unlimited results. A good website to check out is the Government website here which offers some brilliant advice on how you can make a kick start on volunteering
4) Get Offline: Many towns and cities up and down the country have local voluntary centres who will be able to offer you advice on how to gain the right placement for you. Also keep a look out for any voluntary fairs in the local area, who will be able to provide you valuable information.
5) Be Enthusiastic: Finally, when trying to gain a placement, it is important that you demonstrate enthusiasm. Organisations also need reassurance that you are passionate about the cause and that that they can rely on you to be able to conduct suitable duties. After all, without volunteers, the majority of charities and organisations wouldn’t be able to function!
Once you have gained voluntary work or a placement in your chosen organisation, there are endless benefits which will look great to any potential employer. Here is a sneak peak of some of the advantages:
1) New Connections: Voluntary work can guarantee to broaden your wider network on both a professional and personal level. You never know who you may meet while volunteering, they maybe just your ticket to the next job role.
2) Work In Your Chosen Industry: Sometimes life doesn’t always go to plan and it can be difficult to work within your chosen sector. However volunteering can open the door to this and give you a taster of what you can expect from a certain industry.
3) Upskill: If you find that you sometimes get rejected for job roles because you don’t have sufficient experience on your CV, volunteering maybe a solution for this. A placement can be the perfect chance to upskill, as a lot of organisations will put their volunteers through extensive training programmes.
4) Satisfaction: Voluntary work will give you bucket loads of satisfaction from helping others in the wider community. This will also result in you feeling good about yourself and what you can offer to a workplace.
5) Guaranteed Fun: Finally, voluntary work should be lots of fun and give you a chance to embrace your passions. After all, there is a voluntary placement for just about anyone, no matter what your interests are!