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1st-7th June is National Volunteering Week, an annual celebration of the contribution millions of people make across the UK through volunteering in their communities.
If you are going through a career transition or nearing retirement, have you considered volunteering? Volunteering offers a wide range of benefits both for individuals and for communities. Engaging in volunteer work has been associated with improved physical and mental health too as it can reduce stress levels, combat feelings of isolation and promote overall well-being.
Here are some benefits of volunteering during your career transition with a guide on where to find voluntary opportunities of interest:
Volunteering provides opportunities for personal growth and development. It allows you to acquire new skills, expand your knowledge and gain valuable work experience in various areas. You can develop leadership skills, improve communication and teamwork skills, and improve your problem-solving capabilities. Volunteering also gives you a sense of purpose and fulfilment by making a positive impact on the lives of others. It allows you to contribute to a cause or organisation that aligns with your values and passions. Volunteering is an excellent way to explore different career paths as well.
Volunteering provides excellent networking opportunities. You can meet people from diverse backgrounds and build meaningful connections with fellow volunteers, professionals, and community members. These connections can lead to new friendships, mentorships and potential career opportunities. If you are looking for your next career move, this could be an ideal way to expand your connections and tap into a new network.
There are several ways to find volunteering opportunities that align with your interests and skills. Here are some effective methods to consider:
Utilise online platforms dedicated to connecting volunteers with organisations. Websites such as Do It Volunteer https://doit.life/volunteer allow you to search for volunteering opportunities based on what you want to achieve such as learning, gaining new connections or building skills. Other websites to explore are https://volunteeringmatters.org.uk/ and https://reachvolunteering.org.uk/
Identify non-profit organisations or charities that align with your interests and reach out to them directly. Visit their websites, explore their social media, or attend events to learn about volunteer programmes and opportunities. It may be useful to send a speculative email to see if they have ongoing volunteer positions or specific projects and events that they may not be advertising.
Opportunities are attached to people! Explore your network. Do you know anyone in your network such as friends, family, colleagues, who are involved in volunteer work? They may be aware of volunteering opportunities or be able to recommend organisations that could use your help. They will also be able to give you guidance and tips on how to find opportunities and first-hand knowledge of the pros and cons to volunteering.
When searching for volunteering opportunities, consider your availability, skills, and interests. Remember that volunteering is a two-way street—you are offering your time and skills, but it's also important to find an opportunity that fulfils your own needs and interests too.
Renovo is the UK’s leading specialist provider of outplacement and career transition support. We work with both organisations and individuals to support all their career transition requirements. If you would like to understand how Renovo can help, you please email firstname.lastname@example.org