Benefits of voluntary work
Regardless of the type of work you are looking for employers are looking for a range of skills that can be developed and illustrated through voluntary positions.
Soft skills include:
- team working
- problem solving
- ability to use your initiative
Industry specific skills include:
Trying out a career area that interests you
Volunteering is a good way of testing out a potential career option. For example:
- joining St John Ambulance, learning first aid and how to deal with casualties will give you an insight and add to your CV if you are considering going into a health related career
- volunteering for Radio Lions at the General Hospital is ideal if you are interested in broadcast journalism
- being a ‘befriender’ for an organisation such as Autism Jersey will introduce you to people with differing needs; this also demonstrates that you are able to appreciate and respond to diversity within society
Building contacts with potential future employers
Voluntary work is a great opportunity to meet and demonstrate your skills to employers who may have paid vacancies in the future.
Positive use of time
If you are unemployed, committing to voluntary work can give you a sense of purpose and demonstrate to potential employers that you are using your time productively.
Finding the right volunteering post
Before approaching organisations regarding voluntary work, you should begin by considering many of the same points that you would when applying for paid work. These include:
- do you prefer to work alone or as part of a team?
- are you more suited to working behind the scenes or do you prefer to take a more visible role?
- how much time can you commit?
- how much responsibility are you ready to take on?
- what skills can you bring to a volunteer job?
- what causes are important to you?
For more information on local volunteering opportunities, see the Jersey Association of Charities website and volunteer.je website.