People have a variety of motivations to volunteer - while altruism or passion for cause may be uppermost, volunteering can also be an opportunity to meet new people, learn new skills or (and perhaps most importantly if you're also looking for paid work) gain recognition of existing experience and skills.
Volunteering is not only a way to support organizations that are working for a better world, but it can also be a key step on the career path for many people looking to make a transition into an ethical sector.
We're constantly speaking to people who work for great, ethical organizations who started out in a volunteering role. Canadian research suggests that as many as two-thirds of graduates working in charities had been volunteers before getting a job with the charity.
If you're looking to take another step along the pathway to a more ethical career, why not check out the opportunities for (unpaid) work for a better world in the coming New Year?
Here are some tips for getting started as a volunteer:
If you are interested in volunteering, but aren't sure where to begin, try asking yourself the following questions to determine what kind of volunteer opportunities would best suit you:
- If you had all the human and financial resources in the world, what problem would you solve, what would you change or what would you create? Your answer will tell you what matters the most to you.
- What kind of time commitment are you willing to make? Are you looking for regular, weekly volunteer work, or for a short-term or one-time commitment?
- Would you prefer to volunteer with other people or by yourself?
- Would you like to work from your own home, or would you prefer to volunteer at an organization?
- If you would like to volunteer away from home, where is the best location for you? Near home? Close to work? Near your child's day-care Centre?
- Do you have specific skills or talents you would like to share with an organization?
- Would you like to develop a specific skill?
- What are your personal goals? Are you re-entering the workforce?
- Do you want to meet new people?
Thanks to Volunteer Canada for this list of suggestions.