Volunteering: your route to a new career

You’ve decided to change your job. Great. But what if you take that big step then discover you’ve made the wrong move?

Photo of raised handsMaking the decision to start a new career is easy. Actually doing it isn’t. And while many people fancy doing something different, the ‘what if’ factor can stop them from taking the plunge.

During my career I’ve had to change jobs many times as I was working on short-term contracts, so in some ways I was quite lucky as I worked in many different roles.

From this experience I could decide what it was I really enjoyed and what I disliked in my work.

This is a great starting point. Add to your list any hobbies that you enjoy doing, and you’re starting to build up a picture of your perfect job.

But this is where we came in. How do you know it’s your perfect job until you try it? And if you try it and hate it, then surely you’ll have to start all over again?

It’s a big dilemma.

My advice? Try before you buy. And volunteering is the best way of doing this.

Lots of organisations are dependent on volunteers in all kinds of roles, especially those that support people in overcoming issues such as mental health problems, debt and learning disabilities.

There are also companies that work with older people, animals, children, young people and re-distribution of food or furniture.  So there’s plenty of choice out there.

You’re offering them your time and services for free. But what can they offer you?

Well, training, experience and an opportunity to be more self aware of what you enjoy, for starters.

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Most will give you an understanding of administration, caring for people, organising events, fundraising and management.

The great thing about volunteering is that, unlike work, you’re not tied into it. If you find you don’t enjoy one volunteer role you can then move on to something else until you’ve sussed out what you do enjoy.

At the same time, you’ll be having fun and meeting new people, helping you to build up new contacts for your search for employment.

You just need to decide the number of hours and when you can fit this into your lifestyle.

So get started and have some fun exploring… there’s a world of opportunity out there.

Find out more…

You can find out about volunteering in your area by your local organisation – these are usually called Voluntary Actions or Community and Voluntary Service.

Sign up for a free copy of ‘Ready for Change Guide’ www.butterflytransform.co.uk

About Sandra Greatorex

I’m a specialist in Career Transformation Coaching/Mentoring. For some years now I have provided support/coaching/mentoring to help people get a job when they have been made redundant. For some this was an opportunity to change direction in their career and coaching helped them to identify what this would be. My expertise is helping women aged 40+ to have job satisfaction, feel happier and motivated in the work they do which will also make them happier, more content in their personal life too. I’ve recently published a book Your Choice, Your Future to help young people on their journey to identifying their career path.