Skilled volunteering can be a huge help if you’re looking to use or improve your skills, perhaps to find a new job or enjoy your retirement. We asked the volunteers in our office to tell us why they think skilled volunteering is a good idea for everyone. They told us:
- Make a real difference: Skilled volunteering is also called ‘high-impact volunteering’ because it usually has a great impact on the charity. You’ll have the benefit of knowing your skills are making a significant difference.
- Have a sense of purpose: You’ll be contributing to a cause you care about and become part of something important, beyond your everyday life.
- Develop new interests: You’ll have a chance to try out something new, like fundraising or marketing. Or maybe you’ll discover a passion for issues such as homelessness or the environment.
- Expand your network: Volunteering will help you meet new people, both friends and business contacts.
- Professional development: You’ll need to use your skills in new ways and learn new ones. Volunteers often say that they develop skills such as leadership, communication and influencing others. It can also be a good way to build up a portfolio.
- Start a new career: Volunteering gives you the opportunity to try out a new field, get the right experience and introduce you to relevant people.
- Feel better about yourself: Volunteering can boost your self-confidence and give you a well-deserved sense of accomplishment.
- Reduce isolation and feel more connected: Volunteering can be a really sociable activity, helping to combat isolation, a key risk factor for depression. You will develop a solid support system which can protect you against stress during challenging times.
- Volunteering is liberating: You choose to engage because you want to, not just because it’s your job. That fact alone can make your experience of working with a charity feel empowering.
- Volunteering makes you happy! Don’t take our word for it. Studies have proven the link between helping others and feeling great.
Further reading on the benefits of volunteering:
Although I work full time, often my job can be a bit stale and boring. It's nice to be somewhere new where I can feel that the skills and experience I have developed in the workplace can be put to use and sometimes the chance to pass on some of those skills to others.
Patricia Howett, Assistant Treasurer with Team Kenya