Volunteers come from all walks of life and for all sorts of reasons. We already know the benefits of volunteering, and oh, are they plenty! Is it not great that helping someone will help you too in so many ways? Beyond giving back to your community, volunteering benefits you by giving you new skills, something to put on your CV, and some great, heart-warming anecdotes.
Now, how will the philosophy classes you held to the elderly in Westminster help you with securing a consultancy job? While the two might not seem related at the first glance, it’s all a matter of changing the angle up. Start by thinking about your experience and what you got out of it: the skills that you utilised and developed. Our skills directory will help you get started.
While moderating the debate on the morality of capitalism within your group, you learned to mediate conversations, handle conflicts, navigate differing opinions and discuss your views in a civilised manner. These all come under the umbrella of great communication skills. Getting along with another generation and with people who hold differing views to yourself is also a skill, not to mention public speaking. Talking in front of and engaging a group of strangers is no piece of cake and you just proved that you could do that! So, if anyone was wondering how you would pitch a new idea to a client and tackle their objections, this is your answer.
Volunteering is likely to get you into tricky situations – the ones from where the anecdotes come from. If you persist in a role long enough, the unexpected situations will be the perfect answers to the ‘tell me about a time when you had to think outside the box’ question. You will have learned to keep your spirit up and always look on the bright side – these qualities will always be valued in a team, no matter what you do.
Employers will often want you to be someone outside of your cubicle too – you can expect your hobbies to come up during at least the informal conversation part of a job interview. Volunteering will show that you have a passion and that you are willing to devote your time to it. It talks about you as a person and illustrates your values.
Whatever the job is you are applying for, it will have an impact on the group of people who you are working for, or with. Volunteering will have shown you what social impact looks like, from which you can draw inspiration, goals, and motivation to join a certain organisation.
Lastly, the trend of assessing firms’ social behaviour has been around for a while, with Covid pushing it into the spotlight. Firms will support communities to become more appealing to talent; and talent (AKA you) will need to convince the firms that you are aligned with their values. At the end, everyone benefits: you (making a living), the firms (having a great new employee), and the community projects that get supported. What a great synergy, isn’t it?
Written by Zsofia Bekker, Student Administrative Assistant