Why volunteering can lead to a job
Currently the over 50's provide the majority of the volunteering workforce.
While volunteering your time and effort to help others can certainly make you feel good and improve your self-confidence, it can also help you to find a paying job. Here’s why:
Volunteering can show that you’re still working. Employers often prefer to hire people who are currently working. Listing your volunteering job under 'Crrent Employment'is a big improvement over saying 'currently unemployed'.
It helps keep your skills current. A volunteering position is a good way to help you keep your skills up to date so that an employer doesn’t have to spend time and money on basic skills training.
You can make new contacts. We all know it’s not what you know, but who you know that’s important when looking for work. A volunteering job enables you to expand your network and demonstrate to lots of new people that you are a competent, motivated worker. You can then spread the word that you’re looking for a paying job.
You can acquire new skills. It’s easier in a voluntary organisation to have a go at a job that you haven’t done before or haven’t been trained for. It gives you the chance to get more on-the-job training and experience.
Your LinkedIn profile looks better. Potential employers often look at the LinkedIn profile of someone they are considering hiring. You can show your current volunteer position, which is better than not having a current job. Also having a LinkedIn profile shows you’re comfortable with modern technology.
You’ll be more comfortable in the modern work environment. If you haven’t been in the workforce for a few years, it can be a bit daunting getting back into the swing of it. If you get a more responsible volunteering job with some real challenges, you get the chance to work in a modern, fast paced work environment. You may also find yourself working with younger people, which is a skill you’ll need in most paying positions.
Your self-confidence will improve. If you haven’t worked for a while, your self-confidence could be a bit lacking. Volunteering and putting 'something back' will make you feel better about yourself and demonstrate that you still 'have it' and can perform in a job. If you’re a bit rusty, you’ll be improving your skills in a supportive environment, and won’t feel a lot of pressure.
So if you’re thinking of working in a full or part-time job when you retire, it may be worth doing some volunteering work before you start looking for a paying position.