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Volunteering to Help Your Community and You!

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The first thing most people think about when volunteering is how it can help their community. What many don’t realise is the benefits of volunteering. From increasing your own sense of purpose, to improving skills and even helping get your dream job!

Volunteering can provide you with a sense of achievement and self-worth. Giving back is a great feeling and most people are happy to volunteer for this reason alone. However, if you are thinking about starting a new career, volunteering can help you in so many other ways including; giving you industry experience, developing a network and finding a mentor.

Selecting an organisation

The first step to volunteering is to find an organisation and a volunteer position that is a good fit for you. If you are currently studying or training for your career it’s a great idea to find a volunteer role in that industry. You can also consider what skills you want to work on and choosing an organisation that will allow you to improve those skills.

For example, if you are interested in a role in early childhood, consider volunteering at a local school. This means you get industry experience and you are learning new skills about working with young people.

Volunteering can also help you gain hands-on job experience. What you need to do is to find a volunteer opportunity which helps you learn some of the required skills in the type of organisation you want to work in. Volunteering for even a few hours a week will allow you to learn some skills. For example, if you want a career in aged care, volunteer at a local aged care facility.

There are many ways to find the right organisation. If you know where you want to work – reach out and offer yourself as a volunteer. There are also sites such as Go Volunteer or Seek Volunteer where organisations post requests for volunteers.

Reasons for volunteering can vary from person to person, but it’s best to start with what you hope to gain, what skills could help you and how you can help an organisation.

Being professional

Always treat your role of a volunteer as a professional. You need to be on time and attend regularly. Be punctual and meet work-related deadlines. Don’t slack off even though you are working for free.

Your positive and professional attitude can help you in the long run. Just like a regular job you will be given more opportunities if you are easy to work with.

Be proactive and take initiatives

No matter where you intend to volunteer, you need to show that you are proactive and helpful. Being proactive can show an organisation how you can contribute to their organisation in a special way.

 Build your network

 You never know how someone can help you in the future. If you are volunteering within the industry, you may find a person who is willing to act as a referee. The people that you meet volunteering may also directly help you find a paying job.

Don’t forget there may even be an opportunity for paid work within the organisation you are volunteering. Employers may consider hiring you for paid work if an opportunity arises. If this happens your co-workers may become your employment advocates. They may also help you land a paying job by guiding or informing you about upcoming employment opportunities in the industry.

Find a mentor

Finding an industry expert who is happy to be your mentor can help you for your entire career. Find someone who has worked for many years within the industry who you have a good relationship with. A mentor can advise you on the specific skills that will help you get a paid role. Drawing from their experience, mentors can guide you and can share their experiences and their industry knowledge.

Volunteering can provide you with lots of on the job skills, whilst also helping your community. Employers are always looking for experience – which you can get volunteering. Combining volunteering and vocational education is a winning formula. Volunteering can provide you with skills, and vocational education will provide you with the qualification and knowledge that is required for paid work.

For more information about vocational education training at Insight Training click here










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