Many people find that attaining a job in a charity is one of the hardest processes. Just as is the case with many job roles these days, there are many applicants and the passion which people demonstrate for the charity they wish to work for is often hard to compete with. It is also often the case that the people who wish to work for the charity in question are extremely anxious to be a part of the organisation in any way shape or form they can find. They offer a helping hand and are rarely refused.
For this reason, many people turn to volunteering as a way of both “getting a foot in the door” and being involved in the charity and its work whilst they wait for the right opportunity. There are many advantages to offering a helping hand to a charity.
Get a real sense of what goes on in the charityImagining what goes on behind closed doors and the reality are often very different and although they still enjoy the work which goes on, many volunteers would admit that they had very different ideas after they started volunteering than before. You may find that you have more respect for the charity or that there are things you would change but having a sense of reality about the work involved will give you something great to talk about during an interview.
Feel involved before actually being involvedWhatever the scale of your volunteering, it’s a great way of getting involved whilst you’re waiting for the job of your dreams to come along. You might do an hour or a few hours but either way, you’ll be making a difference and having the satisfaction of knowing it.
Making Your Face KnownVolunteering with a charity means that you’re making connections there so once your application is submitted, you’re not just a faceless piece of paper, you’re the person who’s been making the tea or getting great donations for the last few months and this might stand you in great stead for your application. In this sense, volunteering is all about getting to know people, and more importantly letting them get to know your face.
Knowing what they wantVolunteering for a charity is a great way of getting to know them. Once you know them then you can start to work on your campaign to work for them. This means that you can find out what they want from applications, whether they have any buzz words, any specific requirements which aren’t mentioned in a job description and anything which is likely to be a turn off. Once you know that you can tailor your application to suit and give yourself a better chance when you apply.
Find Out About Upcoming OpportunitiesThe people on the inside usually hear about opportunities long before they are released to the public, so being on the inside is a great way of finding out about any jobs on the horizon. Depending on policy or not, you might even be able to submit an application before the job is released and you’ll certainly be able to make your interest accordingly.
Author Bio: Karen Neagle writes about career development in the Third Sector.
- helping hands to the plough image courtesy of morgueFile
- helping hands volunteer image courtesy of Photo Extremist via Flickr