Volunteering and Careers

Volunteering can help you make career choices. You can test out different jobs to find out what you prefer.  You may have to take small steps to get to your perfect volunteering opportunity. It can be very competitive and for some opportunities, you might need to be over 18. Be creative about where you’ll go and what you’re willing to do. This approach can help you gain skills for the long-term.

Remember, even if the role is not exactly what you want, it will still give you useful experience. It’s about building skills for the future and being flexible in how you get them.

How to apply for a volunteering position

To apply for most volunteering positions, you will need an up-to-date CV and covering letter.

Whether you apply for an advertised role or just approach organisations direct, you should be sure to show you are:

  • eager to help and put your skills to good use
  • hardworking, trustworthy and reliable
  • able to commit to the time the organisation needs

There are a range of reasons why people carry out voluntary work.  It can provide the opportunity to give something back to an organisation that has had an impact on their life. It can make a difference in the local community, help to fight poverty and change the lives of people in the developing world, or help to protect the environment.

Volunteering can also be good for the volunteers. It can help to improve their health and wellbeing. And it can be a route into paid work or the chance to try something new and prepare for a career change. Volunteers can gain confidence and acquire new skills, knowledge and experience, enhancing their career development and job prospects.