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  • Sandra Laws - Career Coach

Benefits of Volunteering

Are you thinking about changing your career path to a new sector or find more purpose and satisfaction in your career?

You might be thinking:

  • Although I am not enjoying my current job, I am too old to change my change. I need to stay in this job until I retire in 8 years’ time.

  • I do not have enough skills to start a new career. I have had a career break for 5 years.

  • I have made redundant. I worked for my employer for 10 years. I feel stressed about my future.

  • Jobs are difficult to find right now during this economy and I am going to stay put even thought this job is boring and mundane.

Today, I am going to look at volunteering as an option to gain new skills for a new career path. Volunteering can give you a sense of purpose. What skills do you have to offer? What are the passions and motivations in your life? Think back to your childhood – what activities did you enjoy as a child and lose track of time. Why not dip your toe in the water and boost your career with voluntary work?

My Volunteering Experience

Over 20 years ago, I volunteered at a small hospice. This was an extremely valuable experience. I was on the rota every Saturday at 5pm. I would set the table in dining room and take the food trays to the rooms of the patients who were too ill to walk to the dining room. On occasions, I would read to patients or have chat. As I left the building at the end of my shift, I would experience a greater appreciation for my life. The hospice was situated in a beautiful, serene garden setting.

More recently, I volunteered at a refugee charity where I coached refugees with employment skills. I learned so much about the culture and the world of work in other parts of the world. It was so rewarding to support a refugee to land their first job offer in a new country. There is so much we can change in society by volunteering just an hour a week.

The Pandemic

In May 2020, the Guardian news reported that ten million adults in the UK volunteered in the community during the pandemic. Research by Legal and General and the Centre for Economics and Business Research suggests that 19% of the UK population volunteered between the start of the pandemic in March 2020 and May 2020. These volunteers provided the following essential servicses to the vulnerable in the community:

  • Picking up prescriptions

  • Helping to deliver food parcels for those shielding

  • Managing phone lines to support people struggling with loneliness.

Benefits of Volunteering

  • You get an inside view of how the organisation operates and its structure.

  • Gain valuable transferrable skills and work experience

  • Benefits – the organisation usually covers the training costs and expenses of the volunteers for their commitment.

  • Find work that you enjoy while helping others.

  • Make new friends and valuable career contacts to build your network.

  • Improved mental health

  • Keep your 9am to 5pm job while dipping your toe in the water to test out a new organisation.

Voluntary work gives you the opportunity to explore your purpose while helping others.

“As you grow older, you will discover you have two hands. One for helping yourself and the other for helping others". Audrey Hepburn.

Please get in touch if there are any questions on this topic that you would like me to answer in this blog. Email me on:

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