Why you should give time to volunteering

There are loads of benefits to volunteering. But these aren’t the reason to do it, says Charlotte Bean

By Charlotte Bean

My dad and I have a perennial debate about human nature. He reckons there’s no such thing as a truly altruistic act. He says every good deed is motivated by self-interest: when you do something generous, kind, or other-regarding, it makes you feel good about yourself.

    ...when you do something generous, kind, or other-regarding, it makes you feel good about yourself.  

That’s a well-known feature of volunteering. It makes you feel happy, and can ward of depression. Plus, volunteering can help you live longer.

Volunteering can also help you make important connections, from friends to potential colleagues. If you’re looking to build a career in a related sector, these contacts are worth their weight in gold.

But here’s the thing, because I disagree with my dad. I think altruism is alive and well, and volunteering is proof of that fact.

I’ve volunteered for several organisations and in different capacities over the past decade, from marketing administration to youth mental health support. All of these experiences have enhanced my skills and helped me to secure interviews and employment.

But that’s not the reason I’ve done it. I’ve volunteered because it’s the right thing to do.

With economic uncertainty, the climate in crisis and inequality still present across the world (and in many cases, growing), there has never been a better time to help others or commit to a worthy cause.

Your NHS needs youI believe that if you do not need help or representation, then you are lucky. Sadly, there are still so many who rely on charities and organisations and the help of others.

Gender, sexuality, place of birth, terminal illness or disability: none of these are choices and yet, on a daily basis, they are reasons that lead to persecution, oppression or disadvantage.

And then there are issues like climate change and animal rights, where we can shrug our shoulders and think “someone else will sort it out.”

But when do we stop passing on problems and take responsibility ourselves?

There are so many causes that we can help if we are willing to give up a bit of a time.

Rebecca Haines spent time volunteering at a supplementary school and, despite choosing to do so for career purposes, soon realised the intrinsic value of volunteering.

“I volunteered to gain experience and develop skills for my future career but found that I really enjoyed the feeling of doing good and helping others - I felt happy knowing I was making a difference,” she says.

“I think more people should volunteer. It’s a fantastic experience and it opened my eyes to the impact that volunteers can have. If you are able to offer something to help others, you should,” Rebecca adds.

One of my favourite books is Middlemarch, by George Eliot. Throughout the novel, Eliot encourages the reader to think of humanity as a web, emphasising the connections between all of us. The final sentence of Middlemarch reads: “The growing good of the world is partly dependent on unhistoric acts; and that things are not so ill with you and me as they might have been, is half owing to the number who lived faithfully a hidden life, and rest in unvisited tombs.”

I think this is what volunteering is all about: small acts that may well be ‘unhistoric’ carried out by people who don’t necessarily receive the recognition they deserve, but that all add up to contribute to a better world for everyone.

I don’t know if that tells you who’s right between my dad and me. But either way, that’s why you should volunteer.

The volunteering 1 2 3

1. Choose to volunteer on behalf of something you really care about. That way, it will never seem like a chore. Think about what you’re passionate about, or what has personally affected you. Research organisations you can help that are aligned with your interests, or volunteer for a charity that has helped someone you know.

2. Find something that will work with your schedule. You don’t need to give up huge chunks of your week to volunteer. If you can’t commit to a regular time, there are plenty of ad hoc volunteering opportunities, such as volunteering to help at a fundraising event.

3. Make the most of your existing skills. Consider what it is you can offer and how those skills can be used to help others. Whether your talents lie in flower arranging or fashion, maths or music, there are plenty of ways your skills can be put to use. Visit the Do-it.org website to find an opportunity near you.

Published: 25 March 2020

© 2020 Just Recruitment Group Ltd

If you enjoyed this article, you may like: Just gardening: what to do in spring

You may also enjoy: Inspirational People

Jobs currently available

Equity Release Advisor
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910156
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for an Equity Release Advisor to join an established company based in Needham Market.

Operating for over 20 years, our client has a great reputation in the local area. They are looking to take on someone with a real hunger to succeed within the industry.

  • A CeMAP / Equity Release qualification
  • Experience within mortgage broking or Equity Release
  • Great communication skills
  • A detail-oriented nature
  • Experience of dealing with clients, both in-person and over the phone
  • Strong market awareness
  • Great knowledge of Microsoft packages and be generally computer literate

In return, you will receive a competitive base salary plus commission.

Please get in touch if you would like to be considered for this exciting new opportunity.

Read more
Mortgage Advisor
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: Discussed on application
Location: Needham Market
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910155
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Mortgage Advisor to join an established mortgage company based in Needham Market.

Operating for over 20 years, our client has a great reputation in the local area. They are looking to take on someone with a real hunger to succeed within the industry.

You will have:

  • A CeMAP qualification (happy to consider newly qualified applicants)
  • Experience within mortgage broking or financial services
  • Great communication skills
  • A detail-oriented nature
  • Experience of dealing with clients, both in-person and over the phone
  • Strong market awareness
  • Great knowledge of Microsoft packages and be generally computer literate

In return, you will receive a competitive base salary plus commission.

Please get in touch if you would like to be considered for this exciting new opportunity.

Read more
Technical Assistant
Sector: Marketing, Advertising and PR
Salary: £21,000 - £22,000 per annum
Location: Halstead
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 909828
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Technical Assistant on behalf of a company based in Halstead, Essex.

Your duties will include:

  • Ensure finished product specifications are completed and correct, meeting legal and customer requirements.
  • Reviewing and approving artwork for new and existing product development.
  • Liaising with NPD and commercial/marketing for new product information.
  • Conducting internal audits against the quality management system.
  • Responsible for dealing with all Trade Complaints in a professional and timely manner.
  • Responsible for label creation and making sure the label system is kept up to date.
  • Completing customer documentation as required.
  • Dealing with various technical tasks on an ad-hoc basis.

Working Monday to Friday, 7.30am - 4.30pm.
Free parking.

Read more
Junior Web Developer
Sector: Media and Internet
Salary: Discussed at application
Location: Colchester
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910116
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Junior Web Developer on behalf of a company based in Colchester.

The purpose of this role is to support in the building of email templates, landing pages, micro-sites and any other digital projects as well as testing work produced by the Development team. You will be producing high-quality code as part of a team and as an individual.

You will ideally have one year’s experience in a development environment with basic level practical knowledge of HTML, CSS and jQuery. Having an understanding of JavaScript, PHP and MySQL would be beneficial.

Job responsibilities:

  • Support the Development team in the build of email templates, landing pages and micro-sites.
  • Front-end development across multiple devices, browsers and operating systems.
  • Fixing known bugs in front-end projects.
  • Help plan and timescale future projects as well as contribute with ideas for future client projects.
  • Keep up to date with web development, design trends and technologies.
  • Quality assurance functionality testing on websites, landing pages, email templates, web applications and apps built by the Development team. Includes front-end cross browser testing and back-end functionality testing.
Read more
Financial Advisor
Sector: Accountancy, Banking and Finance
Salary: £24,000 - £43,000 per annum
Location: North West London and South West London
Role: Full Time
Contract: Permanent
Job ref: 910114
About the role

Just Recruitment is recruiting for a Financial Advisor to cover North West London and another one to cover South West London on behalf of a financial services provider.

The company is looking for enthusiastic and confident individuals to join their team. You will be offering savings, investment, and protection products to help families and individuals reach their financial goals, protect their families and improve communities. 

What the role entails:

  • You will be provided with a customer database which you will build upon.
  • You will also receive ongoing support, guidance, training and development in their processes, systems and products to help you succeed in your role.
  • You will enjoy the autonomy of being home-based and responsible for managing your daily activities and diary as well as being part of a successful team of Financial Advisers.

If you are from a sales background, and have a genuine desire in providing financial advice to help families and individuals reach their financial goals you will be rewarded with a basic salary of £24,000 plus uncapped earning potential for achievement of your goals (*average £37,000 in year 1 and £43,000 in year 2 based) together with a company car, life cover and a pension scheme into which the company will contribute up to 10% of total earnings.

Knowledge, skills and experience:

  • Able to build and maintain strong customer relationships.
  • Professional approach.
  • Drive and determination to succeed.
  • Strong communication skills.
  • Working knowledge of computer systems.
  • Sales background, previous experience in financial services would be advantageous, but not essential.
Read more