Are you a student with too much spare time on your hands? Consider volunteering - from your local community to volunteering abroad, the options are endless.
Are you a sixth-form student or Fresher with too much time on your hands? Instead of binging Squid Game or watching repeats of Friends, spend your time productively by volunteering. Here are four reasons to start volunteering today.
New skills and experiences
Volunteering is a great way to help your CV stand out above the rest when applying for graduate jobs. You’ll learn a lot of transferable skills, including time management and show your passion for the cause, whether it’s animals, teaching or helping local businesses.
You also gain life skills
It’s important to have skills that aren’t solely job-related. From first-aid to customer service, these are qualities that employers look for when deciding between candidates.
While volunteering, I’ve learned many new skills specific to my current job that I wouldn’t have gained as part of my degree. My advice is to find a volunteering role in the field that you’re hoping to work in. But, remember, doing something completely unrelated to the sector you want to work in is great too. You might discover a new career path that excites you.
Meet new people and socialise
While you’re likely to be making new mates at university, there’s always room for more. And volunteering is an excellent way to meet like-minded people.
It’ll make you feel good
Volunteering is very rewarding and great for your mental health. It’s a great feeling to know that you’ve made a real difference in other people’s lives. You’ll also benefit from a break from your typical university routine.
I found volunteering empowering. I loved knowing that my work was helping other people, and it encouraged me to put 100% effort into my role.
It doesn’t matter how small, or big your volunteering role is or how much time you give; the work you do makes a difference. You never know, you might even inspire someone else to volunteer.
Ignite your passion
This is the chance to do something that you enjoy doing. Organisations are keen to see that you’re passionate about what you do and that you share their values, so don’t just volunteer with an organisation for the sake of it.
My best piece of advice would be to join a group that you care about because you’ll enjoy it a lot more and you’ll gain so much more out of it.
How can you find your perfect volunteering role?
Check out the different societies at university to see if there are any roles suitable for you. If there’s a cause you’re passionate about, then get in touch with a society you’re part of, and ask if they know of any opportunities outside the university bubble. And keep your eyes peeled all year round on social media for organisations looking out for volunteers.
From my own experience, volunteering is a great opportunity to network with potential employers and gain more insight into the sector you’re hoping to work in. And remember, connect with them all on LinkedIn, so you’ve always got a means of contacting them in the future.
In short, volunteering is great for students. You don’t have to commit to set hours as you would for a job, and you can offer your help during the long student holidays when your friends aren’t around. Plus, you’ll gain valuable skills that look good on your CV, while boosting your mental wellbeing. So, what are you waiting for? Start the search for the perfect volunteer opportunity today.
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