Home > Which Career? > Using Volunteer Work to Boost your Job Skills

Using Volunteer Work to Boost your Job Skills

By: Emma Jones - Updated: 21 Oct 2017 | comments*Discuss
 
Career Development Volunteer Work Job

As you focus on your career development you may realise that you need to boost your job skills in order to progress further. Ways to do this are to get extra training, brush up your skills at work, or gain work placements. Another option to consider is boosting your skills through volunteer work. Not only are you doing something worthwhile, but you can gain all sorts of new skills and take on responsibilities that will stand you in good stead in your career.

What Skills Do You Need?

Before you start considering volunteer work you need to be clear about what skills you need to improve. If you need to prove your leadership qualities or that you can handle responsibility then you may want to look for a team leader position. If you would like to move into marketing, then think about helping promote a charity. If you need to show organisation skills then maybe you could help organise an event or project. Once you are clear about what you want to gain from being a volunteer you can look for a placement.

Finding Volunteer Placement

Volunteering has become a popular trend but there are still all sorts of organisations crying out for volunteers. The internet is a great place to start and to find opportunities in your local area. Many Citizens Advice Bureaux and local councils will also be able to give you the details of organisations where you can volunteer. If you know you want to work for a specific charity, try to approach them directly. Be open and flexible as you may not find your perfect placement, but can gain a lot from a similar role that can aid your Career Development.

Your Commitment

You mustn’t go into volunteering lightly and must be willing to give the commitment that is required. Charities rely on their volunteers and you will let lots of people down if you don’t do what you promise. Make sure that you only agree to do something that is within your capabilities, and only offer as much time as you have spare. You want to get the most out of your placement so you need to be happy and comfortable giving up your time for free.

How To Use The Experience

There is no point gaining all these new skills through volunteer work if you don’t tell anyone about it. To make them count towards your career development you need to include them on Your CV and talk about your experiences in Interviews. Detail your main areas of responsibility, what you have learnt and how it can relate to your chosen career. In your interviews, be ready to explain why you pursued volunteer work and how you think it has Boosted Your Skills.

If you are serious about your career development, then volunteering can be a great way to gain the skills that you are missing. Think carefully about what skills you need and find a placement that will help you gain them. Make sure have the time and are serious before committing to anything, as it will not benefit you or the organisation if you can’t get involved fully. Detail your new skills on your CV and be ready to talk about your experience in any job interview.

Work Experience as an Adult

Gaining work experience in any field can be incredibly useful to those looking to change careers. Find out more in our article Finding Work Experience As An Adult.

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[Add a Comment]
I’m a support worker in residential children’s care home I’m age 45. I wanta career change I want train to be a nurse.I would like to work and train I have no qualifications.can i do voluntary work as a health care assistant try and get a job as health care assistant and train that way.What is the best way forward for me to dothanks
Miss p - 21-Oct-17 @ 10:40 PM
Natm- Your Question:
Hi I'm looking at a career change and have always been interested in midwifery and nurse as I've no GCSEs how would I go about getting in to the courses

Our Response:
You would need to take your GCSEs and then A level or equivalent at a college or online, in order to gain the entry requirements onto a nursing or midwifery degree course
ACareerChange - 9-Nov-16 @ 11:44 AM
Hi I'm looking at a career change and have always been interested in midwifery and nurse as I've no GCSEs how would I go about getting in to the courses
Natm - 8-Nov-16 @ 1:11 PM
Hi I am 38 years old I want to be able to work with young carers.. as I have a child with special needs myself, I don't have much qualifications only health and social care level 1&2 not sure what my next steps should be
Meme - 9-Oct-16 @ 9:54 PM
Dorris - Your Question:
Hi I am almost 36 years of age and desperately wanting to return to study to become a teaching assistant. Unfortunately I am currently out of work but I am in the process of looking for work that is flexible enough for me to fit round any hours of study.I don't have the foggiest as to where to start first and would really need some advice

Our Response:
You will find some teaching assistant qualifications are offered at evening classes and as online courses. You will of course have to make some time available for placement work/experience. Some schools offer trainee/ on-the-jobs posts so it's worth asking your local education authority for information. Volunteering in school is a good way to find out whether the job is definitely for you.
ACareerChange - 12-Sep-16 @ 10:45 AM
Hi I am almost 36 years of age and desperately wanting to return to study to become a teaching assistant. Unfortunately I am currently out of work but I am in the process of looking for work that is flexible enough for me to fit round any hours of study. I don't have the foggiest as to where to start first and would really need some advice
Dorris - 9-Sep-16 @ 1:41 PM
Hi I am living in uk from 6 years . I done my nursing from India. I looking to build my carrier in health care field.
Peena - 10-May-16 @ 10:03 PM
I would love to be a volunteer in caring. I am a respectable, energetic, young, bubbly, fast learner. I live in Launceston cornwall. please contact me, I am only 16 years of age but would still love to be of any help possible!. many thanks, Chelsea.
chelsea - 29-Apr-16 @ 12:48 PM
Sam - Your Question:
Hi I have completed my B.A hons from Pakistan and now I am looking forward to begin my career in London I have been living here since 3 months I had 1 year teaching experience in Pakistan Can I get a teacher assistant job here? If no then what should be the next steps for me

Our Response:
You may have to do a specific teaching assistant qualification depending on the requirements of the local education authority and whether they recognise your current qualifications. We suggest you contact them for more information.
ACareerChange - 16-Dec-15 @ 12:56 PM
Hi I have completed my B.A hons from Pakistan and now I am looking forward to begin my career in London I have been living here since 3 months I had 1 year teaching experience in Pakistan Can I get a teacher assistant job here? If no then what should be the next steps for me
Sam - 15-Dec-15 @ 10:54 PM
@Becki. You could try contacting private care providers in your area to see what qualifications they need or whether there are opportunities to start and train-the-job. The council has this list of independent care providers. .You could also consider voluntary care work to see whether it's what you really want to do. Here is a list of voluntary organisations in Stockton.
ACareerChange - 5-Jan-15 @ 10:35 AM
Hi I'm a single mum of 3 and I would really like to start a career in care work manly care home but I'm not sure were to start looking any help and advice would be much appreciated. I live in Stockton on tees thank you becki
becki - 29-Dec-14 @ 10:52 AM
hi im a single mum to 3, i am hoping to go down the Teaching assistant role. And id like some advise on how too go about it, the CRB check id like some advise, on how to go about it? And then is it really a case of ringing around school asking too gain work experience and volunteer and handing in CV's. I have been out of the work scene for quite a long time, and i feel working a a T.A will work around my family Thanks
loulou1981 - 6-Feb-13 @ 3:01 PM
I would like to go into nursing an will start training in September, I am lookin for volunteer work as a health care assistant
ella - 16-Jan-13 @ 3:52 PM
Will like to be a social worker, can you please advice me on what to do, and if possible volunteer as a social worker, I'm a carer at the moment. Will be grateful if some one get in contact with me i live in North west Thanks.
Maama tee - 9-Aug-12 @ 7:20 PM
Hi I am looking at a change of career and am looking to get into care work, so have decided to look at some volunteer work to give me some direction into what sector I would find most suitable for myself and could be most beneficial to others. I live in Cardiff any help or advise would be appreciated
rhi - 15-Jul-11 @ 1:37 PM
Hi I would love to volunteer as an illustrator. I have many examples of my work if you are interested. I live in lancashire and ideally wouldn't mind working via skype, home based. Many thanks and look forward to hearing from you.
sami - 9-May-11 @ 4:54 PM
Hi I really want be a volunteer in Social Work, please contact me. I live in Bristol thanks Mari
MANU - 25-Mar-11 @ 6:55 PM
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