No Job This Summer? Try Volunteering!Posted: 30th of July 2015 by
If you are a student who is between years at college, or are waiting to head off to college, it can be harder to find a summer job than you might have imagined. Depending on where you live, the summer jobs may be in short supply or already taken by now! It can be particularly difficult if you happen to live in a popular university city, as you will be competing with undergraduates and recent graduates for work too! It seems as if you are destined for a boring summer of watching daytime TV and lounging around. Of course, there is nothing wrong with daytime TV and lounging around, but it can get a bit tired after a few weeks! Perhaps you could break the monotony with a spot of volunteering?
When someone mentions volunteering, your first thought might be, ‘why would I want to work for nothing,’ or just ‘what’s in it for me?’ And they are both good questions, but first let’s think about what’s in it for others.
Volunteering can offer you the chance to do something good – such as helping out at a charity - while the work can be surprisingly varied. You may be delivering leaflets, working in an office, or helping out in a shop. Giving up your time in such a manner can make a real difference to others, offering you a sense of satisfaction that you just can’t get from watching Jeremy Kyle reruns. But volunteering can also be of benefit to you.
Firstly, volunteering offers you experience and an insight into a particular area of work. You can test out a job to see how you like that type of employment and see if it is the sort of thing you would like to consider as a career. Even if it is not exactly what you plan to do when you finish your studies, a volunteer job can still contain aspects that are similar to other jobs – from stock-taking to general office admin.
As well as offering you some experience of a role, volunteering can provide you with skills that make you more employable. Whether these are genuine technical skills that you can use in your later career, or just demonstrates that you are a dependable employee, it is all great news for your C.V.
You will also begin to gain experience of how the world of work operates, putting you ahead of those who have yet to experience this - sometimes years ahead in the case of graduates who took every summer off and just progressed along a purely academic path!
These experiences will help you when you come to get your first full-time job, while also showing potential employers that you are willing to work.
Volunteering isn’t a waste of your time, as you can gain some solid experience and make yourself more employable –all while giving back.
In fact, aside from skills and experience, you are also making contacts and connections – and who knows, there could be a real paying job further down the line too…
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