Christmas is nearly here, which (hopefully!) is awash with festive spirit, presents, food, family and friends. But after Christmas has come and gone do you, like many, stop to re-evaluate your activities and how you spend your time?
The New Year is a natural time to consider new beginnings, and start afresh. This is why so many people make New Year’s resolutions, such as eating better, exercising more or drinking less.
But rather than a ‘personal’ resolution, have you ever thought about volunteering?
If you’re thinking about returning to work, giving your time and skills to your community can bring benefits to both you and the charity you volunteer with. It’s also a positive way to develop personally and professionally. This can be particularly true with skills-based volunteering; by offering your professional skills, you can make a real impact at a charity.
At Reach, we’ve helped hundreds of volunteers use their expertise to make a difference. They are often surprised by quite how much they themselves benefit whilst volunteering.
Here are five reasons to get volunteering in 2016:
- Volunteering reinvigorates your skills: A volunteer position means you can transfer your skills to a new environment, learn new skills, and benchmark your knowledge with others. It can be particularly useful if you took a career break as it gives you a chance to experience what’s changed since you were last in the workplace and see if there are any gaps you need to fill.
- Volunteering build connections and networks: Volunteering gives you a chance to meet new people in a structured environment. If you choose to volunteer for a cause you are passionate about, such as young people or mental health support, you will likely be mixing with like-minded people and working together towards a cause. And that’s a great feeling!
- Volunteering looks great on your CV: As well as demonstrating your paid work, having volunteering on your CV creates a picture of you as a well-rounded and giving person. If you have any gaps in your CV, volunteering your professional skills in particular shows that you’ve kept active, in touch and gives you some leverage if you are looking to re-enter the workplace.
- Volunteering increases confidence: It’s known that volunteering makes you happy and increases your confidence. It gives you a purpose, it’s rewarding and you know you are helping others, all of which adds to our sense of satisfaction, confidence and well-being.
- Give back to your community: This is an obvious one but if you volunteer your skills you are helping towards our society and the community, which can give you a sense of pride - and a warm glow!
So as you can see there are personal benefits to volunteering as well as benefits to the charity, the community and beyond.
At Reach, we can help you find a voluntary position where your skills are needed, whether your background is in marketing, HR, governance, IT, or finance. All kinds of skills are in demand at charities throughout the UK. You can search for an opportunity based on your skills, location, preferred time commitment and the type of cause i.e. the arts, women, international development. We ask any volunteers we work with to demonstrate more than three years’ professional experience so they have the experience to make an impact.
Get in touch on 020 7582 6543 or at firstname.lastname@example.org if you want to know more.
If you are looking for a new challenge in 2016, volunteer at a charity and put your skills to good use!