Volunteering is a great way to benefit society. However, it is necessary to answer some of the frequently asked volunteering questions that people have when they want to volunteer before beginning this type of work.
Typical volunteering questions
What is volunteering?
Volunteering is generally unpaid work with a social aim. Helping homeless citizens from a disadvantaged city or building a school for children in a poor community are examples of volunteer work.
Firstly, volunteer work is extremely rewarding. Helping out a community in need helps you gain a unique perspective of the world, and not take your own advantages for granted. You will also lead a happier and more fulfilled life knowing that you are contributing significantly to society in a positive way. Lastly, living a life of ignorance and self-involvement is a sad way to spend your years and will do nothing to improve the world that we all share.
Many people question whether volunteering is only going to benefit the group to which you are offering help. Not true. Volunteering offers more personal benefits than any other job sector. Being actively involved in helping society is very rewarding and makes you feel great.
Volunteer work depending on age
Does my age affect the volunteering work I can do? There are certain restrictions depending on your age. For example, if you are under 16, you may be too young to volunteer in a charity shop, and if you are under 18 you may be too young to work with homeless people. At the other end of the spectrum, if you are too old, some voluntary activities may be too active and difficult for you.
If you are unsure of the job restrictions, look at the terms and conditions of any volunteering job offers or send an email to the organisation offering the work.
Volunteering on the CV
Some people are unsure whether volunteering looks good on the CV. There is no doubt that it is a very good thing to have on your CV. It makes you stand out as a proactive, independent, caring candidate. Moreover, there are many transferable skills you can pick up from volunteering that can be utilised in any job sector.
Free or paid?
As previously mentioned, most volunteering work is unpaid. A cornerstone of the volunteering ethos is to selflessly offer help to others without demanding any personal financial gains.
Having said this, there are opportunities to gain some financial support whilst volunteering. This is sometimes necessary to pay for travel or living expenses whilst carrying out your volunteering placement. One way to do this is to apply for a grant. Read Joblers’ section on the types of grants to work and live abroad to find out more.
Another way in which you can secure some financial help whilst volunteering is to work for a social enterprise. Social enterprises are companies that, most of the time, operate as regular for-profit businesses, except they have a social aim. The profits of these companies are small, and usually the majority of profits are reinvested in helping build the company and help disadvantaged groups. For example, Jamie Oliver’s Fifteen Apprentice Programme, in which fifteen young, unemployed people are recruited to learn how to cook in one of Jamie’s restaurants alongside 25 professional chefs. Once the apprentices are sufficiently experienced, they leave to go on and work in other restaurants. Meanwhile, a new group of unemployed apprentices comes in to gain work experience at Jamie’s restaurant. The profits made are re-invested into the restaurant.
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