Do work for charity and talk about it – your career will be better for it

Volunteering for a charity or working for a good, not-for-profit cause in the community can help your skill set and develops your expertise. Volunteering also helps you gain real-world experiences. This is a not a cynical blog post – committing to help others in a voluntary capacity has more benefits for all parties than you might immediately think. This isn’t about trying to get people to move jobs in the Charity sector – it’s illustrating the benefits of volunteering outside of your day job.

You’ll gain experience and uplift your skill set

Lots of the tasks and skills required in a volunteering role are also necessities in your day-to-day job. Teamwork, creativity, communication, interpersonal skills and relationship building are all used in volunteering and thus you’ll further develop your abilities for your paid position. In an interview setting, you’ll be able to discuss what experiences you enjoy and how it positively influences your career. In fact, many candidates who have presented themselves to MRK Associates with charitable experience have found it’s positively influenced their abilities to get their next job.

Align your interests with a voluntary project near you

It’s important for you to benefit from your charity experience, you should aim to do something that interests you. There is little to gain from undertaking charitable work that you won’t enjoy as it will hinder your ability to provide something beneficial to the cause.

There’s more charitable work out there than you’d think and it’s in your community, too. The most prominent charities recruit thousands of volunteers per year to help their audience live a better life. In your local community there’ll be causes and projects to get involved with. For instance, rugby coaching at a local club, helping out at a local allotment, serve on a parish council/school governor, mentoring the next generation of professionals, refereeing at a football match etc. Pick up your local magazine, talk to friends and neighbours or search the internet browsers to find a cause near you.

Value seen at corporations everywhere

Many organisations understand the value of volunteering in community projects. As a toe in the water for employees, many provide a free day a year to help a nominated cause. This can help you identify what you’d like to do for your charity/cause of choice.

The rebirth of transferable skills?

We blogged a couple of years ago that transferable skills are now on the wane. Employers are not seeking this trait. However, with skills learnt in a voluntary environment, you can use these to boost your career and job prospects. Communicated responsibly and progressively, these transferable skills are what employers are seeking. Go out and make a difference!

Have fun!

Whilst you won’t get paid for most voluntary roles, you will have a great time. It’s an ideal environment to meet new people and gain new experiences. It will also give you another subject to talk about when meeting with friends, potential employers, colleagues, family etc. You’ll learn new skills, so, do talk about it and be proud!

Enjoy the experience!

Roland Seddon, Managing Director, MRK Associates.

MRK Associates is a recruitment and career advisory company specialising in three distinct areas of professional employment – finance/accountancy jobs, office support/administration jobs and revenue management/yield jobs. Our main geographical focus is in the Northern Home Counties area (Buckinghamshire, Hertfordshire, Oxfordshire and Bedfordshire) where we provide a personal, knowledgeable and professional service within these markets.

For more information, please telephone 01442 894555 or email:


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