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The value of volunteering

Develop your skills and help a good cause – all at the same time.

Volunteering is a great way to gain skills and experience, while also doing something positive for your community.

Strictly speaking, volunteering isn’t a job. Simply because you don’t get paid for it.

But volunteering can be very rewarding. In fact, it can transform your life and prospects.

What is volunteering?

Volunteering is when you give your time to help a good cause.

Most volunteering takes place in the voluntary sector, with charities and community groups.

So, for example, you might volunteer to help in a community garden, become a volunteer tour guide or donate your time to answering calls on a charity helpline.

There are lots of different tasks and roles you can volunteer for. It’s about finding something that makes the best use of what you can do and when you can do it.

Volunteering is the ultimate exercise in democracy. You vote in elections once a year but when you volunteer, you vote every day about the kind of community you want to live in.David HooperCareers adviser, Skills Development Scotland

What are the benefits of volunteering?

Volunteering doesn’t just support the charity or organisation you give your time and efforts to. It helps you as well.

You can build your confidence, practice your existing skills and even learn new ones. Along the way, you’ll meet new people and make connections. Volunteering also looks amazing on your CV. It shows potential employers that you’re dedicated and responsible – a perfect employee!

Not to mention, volunteering is a fantastic way to overcome a lack of experience. If you want to try something new or are thinking about changing career, it's the perfect way to gain new skills.

Volunteer Scotland asked people about the benefits they'd experienced through volunteering. Here are some of the common answers:

  • 88% said they had an increased sense of personal achievement
  • 85% said they broadened their life experience
  • 79% said they gained new skills and experience
  • 79% said their confidence increased
  • 40% said their employment prospects improved

There are a range of different roles that organisations are looking to fill so you'll be able to find the perfect role for you. While helping a worthy cause, you'll gain valuable experience for your CV.