Volunteering Can Be a Springboard Towards a New Future

A change of circumstance can be traumatic, with the haunting question of ‘What will I do now?” swirling in your head. Volunteering can reveal the answer, directing you toward a new profession while also helping to get you back on your feet.

Volunteering is a very practical solution to the twin issues of having too much free time and where to begin a new chapter in life. Not only does it entail a project with obligations and set targets to reach, just as a regular job would, but also provides ample opportunity to learn new skills and reveal hidden interests and talents you may have not known you had.

In fact, it is not unusual for those taking part in volunteer work to benefit just as much as the community they are trying to help. While anyone in any group can volunteer, three kinds of people can benefit from the experience the most.

Recently Retired

Entering the part-time job market is an option that some retirees opt for, but ideally not until after a period of adjustment from working full-time. This period typically involves travel, but once the new retiree has returned home there can be some uncertainty over what to do next.

Volunteering allows many retired individuals to get actively involved in a project, and often leads to a new occupation. For example, someone who worked in insurance for 30 years could discover an untapped interest in gardening, all thanks to a community tree-planting campaign. So a part-time job in a local nursery may be just the ticket.

Recently Made Redundant

Redundancy throws individuals back into the highly competitive job market, but it can be difficult to know what the next step should be.

Volunteering provides a chance not just to help the community, but also to learn new skills. For example, a factory employee can get involved in organising a fundraising drive, thereby gaining experience in administration, logistics and other aspects requiring organisational skills. These new skills can then arm them when they focus on a new career path.

Mother Returning to Work

Motherhood provides a dramatic change in life, but many mothers seek a change again by returning to the workforce. Not every mother, however, has her old job waiting for her when she’s ready to return, so she needs to start over all while maintaining their role with their family.

Volunteering provides a mother with an opportunity to build a new network of contacts while reviving her job skills, whether through event planning, accountancy, or administration, while allowing her time to meet the demands of family life. 

Trilingual Career Coach & Recruiter with experience across Europe and Asia Pacific. She is also a speaker for workshops on resume writing, job searching tips, and interview techniques. She travels frequently but you can stay in touch with Eleanor via facebook.com/EleanorHoDotCom

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