Why You Might Consider Being A VolunteerPosted: 4th of March 2015 by
Looking for work can be a frustrating process – especially if you find that everyone wants you to have experience already. It can seem like something of a ‘Catch 22,’ you need the work to get the experience, yet you need the experience to get the work! While there are other avenues open to you, such as taking an Apprenticeship, which will offer you training, on-the-job experience, and a wage, this is does not appeal to everybody. Another good option is to look at jobs specifically aimed at school leavers, who are not expected to come with a long work history. There is, however, another way – and that is volunteering.
Volunteering may not offer you a wage, but it can be a vital first step on the career ladder, while also giving you the chance to do some good. Many charities are on the lookout for dedicated volunteers to help them with their work, and while they may not be able to pay you, you will gain some valuable work experience. But it is not just about gaining experience at work, since a stint of volunteering also looks good on your C.V. It shows that you are willing to work, while also allowing you a head-start on those who have never had a job of any sort.
Of course, volunteering can also take you overseas or even offer you an opening in a company that you would like to work for. If you can get some unpaid work at a business you would like to have a career at, you can get the inside line, see if the job and company is all you expected it to be, get that same work experience, and do some networking too! By getting your face seen, there is a better chance of you being considered should a job become available later.
While the idea of working without pay may make you take pause, volunteering needn’t be a negative. You should, for example, still be able to claim any benefits you are receiving currently (do check with your local job centre to make sure first), so if nothing else, it shouldn’t leave you any less well off.
Offering your time to help others can be rewarding, but should also offer you a step forwards, either directly towards your desired career, or more loosely by giving you some general work experience and showing you are willing to get stuck in.
Just think, multi-millionaire music mogul Sean ‘Diddy’ Combs began his career as an unpaid intern at a record label before leaving to start his own label – and look at where he is now! Suffice to say, without that unpaid position he wouldn’t have made the connections he needed and got the relevant experience to go on and set up his own music industry empire.
While you may not be looking to conquer the music industry, volunteering may be the start you need to get your career going.
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