As well as offering you that feel good factor, volunteering gives you the chance to develop a number of skills that are useful in both your everyday life and your career, as well as being a great way to meet new people and perhaps find your passion.
As well as you being able to make a difference to other people’s lives, the experience can make a difference to your life, and here are a few skills you will have gained along the way:
1. Problem-solving and Adaptability
Volunteering puts you in situations you have yet to encounter and therefore tests your ability to assess these situations and think on your feet. You might have to come up with solutions unlike those in your normal day-to-day life, taking on board the different types of people you are working with, and actively anticipating any potential future problems and act to prevent them or to mitigate their effects.
2. Time Management
You might volunteer around other activities you do in your life, whether you are still in education and have exams to revise for or a nine-to-five job. Getting all this done alongside your hobbies and relaxing can show employers that you are organised and able to manage your time well without anyone doing it for you.
You’ll meet people from all different walks of life volunteering, many of whom you won’t have to chance to come into contact with otherwise. It’s a great way to find out about the lives of others, hear people’s stories and experiences, and can help you understand how to communicate with people different from you, whether they are children, elderly or from a homeless community.
This can easily be helpful in a career - for example, you might have a boss from an older generation whom you need to explain marketing facts and figures to in a way he would understand, or you need to market that product to a specific type of consumer and really get to know when or where they would buy this product.
Lots of volunteering involves teamwork and is a great way to show employers that you are a real team player and that you can work closely with other people. Try to remember some of the projects that you accomplished during your volunteering so that you can tell employers about it in interviews.
As well as the above, transferable or soft skills, you might also have developed more specific skills depending on where or when you worked. Think about what your responsibilities volunteering - what new skills have you gained? These could include:
- Public Relations
- Events Organisation
- Project Management
- Coordination of People