With our crazy busy lives, it is really hard to find some time to explore volunteering opportunities, but the benefits of volunteering can be enormous not only to your community, but also to you and your family.
Finding the motivation to explore new career opportunities is always a challenge – especially for those women already juggling a career and motherhood.
For this reason, increasing numbers of working mums are looking for volunteering opportunities as a way of testing alternative spheres of employment.
Why Explore Volunteering Opportunities?
Volunteering isn’t just working a charity shop of teaching English in Asia. There are now a number of specialist organisations dedicated to arranging voluntary placements for professional people – whether that’s human rights law or engineering.
When to Do Volunteering
People can be inspired to volunteer at any point in their lives. Many working mums who have chosen to have a career break spend at least some of their time exploring volunteering opportunities. Community work is definitely a great way to build your resume and your skills.
Aside from the feel-good factor that comes with helping others, voluntary placements look good on the CV – something that can be all too useful for mums re-entering the world of work after a potentially prolonged period of absence.
In truth, there’s no right time or wrong time to volunteer. It can be one day a month or a few days a week. Before seeking a placement calculate how much time you might be able to dedicate to it. This will help you focus on what you’d like to achieve, and how best to do it. For some, finding a placement independently is best.
For those with less time to spare, third party organisations can be enlisted to find something suitable.
Time Isn’t Always Money
While it’s ostensibly true that there’s no money in volunteering opportunities, there are other plenty of other benefits – some of which lead directly to financial returns. There are plenty of cases where volunteers have been so impressive that they have convinced employers to ‘create’ a job for them. In other cases, volunteers have been the first to hear about upcoming vacancies.
For mums who work from home or are seeking entry into a competitive role, voluntary placements can provide an excellent way to bulk up the contacts book and secure potential future employment.
Try Before You Buy
As a professional, the desire to veer off at a tangent isn’t something to be taken lightly. More often than not, further qualifications are necessary and there is always the chance that the role won’t suit.
A short voluntary placement can enable people to experience a post without having to commit to it. These can be arranged to fit in with annual leave if necessary – or even combined with a trip abroad to keep the rest of the family happy.
Have you ever explored volunteering opportunities?
Jennifer Thompson is a freelance journalist with a special interest in NGOs and the voluntary sector. Her most recent assignments have involved her writing about Projects Abroad UK. When not writing, she enjoys travelling and helping aspirational hacks arrange journalism internships.