Volunteer for many reasons

I am getting so bored at home while I’m out of work. I’ve heard the local hospital radio need DJs. Do you think voluntary work is a good idea, or is it just a waste of time?

We would advise anyone out of work for more than a few weeks to take on some voluntary work. It immediately alleviates the embarrassment of being asked in interview of ‘what were you doing while you were out of work?’ by showing you have some initiative, and are a self-starter. The discipline of getting out and doing some regular work helps with motivation and energy, and the sense of achievement will keep you buoyed up during your job search.

When choosing what kind of volunteering to do, think about what will impress a prospective employer most. Organising children’s entertainment or helping out on a radio station is fun, but it’s not very business oriented, so balance it with experience that will give you transferable skills: anything which involves organising, solving problems, dealing with customers, organising or motivating people, devising or inventing something, or diagnosing, reporting on or trouble-shooting something.

Officially, if you are on Job Seeker’s Allowance, the Job Centre say you can only volunteer up to 16 hours a week. However, if you gain agreement from a ‘decision maker’, you can work unlimited voluntary hours, provided you meet the terms of your Job Seeker’s Agreement, and can be available for work immediately.

In the UK, there are two big organisations which publish volunteer opportunities – Do-it and Volunteering England.

September 12th, 2009 | Category: unemployment | No Comments »

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