Are you volunteering? If not, why not?
It might not seem an obvious route to take to your next role, but just a few spare hours a week or even a month can go a long way.
First of all, it shows employers your willingness to get involved in activity beyond the day to day routine.
It also proves you have the initiative to seek opportunities for personal development, rather than sit and wait for something to come along.
You'll also be armed with a different opportunity to talk about your motivation as opposed to the awkward hobbies section of a CV which basically boils down to ‘keeping fit’ or ‘socialising’. And everyone knows what those really mean.
Finally, from a sense of goodwill, you’ll make a difference in your community.
As with all volunteering, it’s about enthusiasm. When I was asked to help out with my son’s junior football team I was a little hesitant at first.
I’d enjoyed watching him play, the touchline banter, and generally not having to do anything bar putting up the nets now and again or carry the odd bit of kit here and there.
I saw what goes into running a team from seeing what the manager had to do. All the texts and emails letting everyone know about the next game or chasing payments, club meetings, organising match days, not to mention running training sessions or being a taxi service.
Cutting to the chase I did get involved after the manager left, got my coaching and first aid badges and became the U9s boss with an eye on the England job. (Definitely after an opening season win, away at tough opponents! The lads really put a shift in that day).
Fast forward a couple of years, I found myself looking for jobs and having to revamp my CV.
While I used the football thing as a throw away line, I found recruiters were keen to talk about what that involved and I realised by chance how helpful it was.
It showed among other things, organisation, dealing with sensitive issues, difficult conversations, time management, leadership etc etc. All things which we can talk about in one way or another, but this gave the conversation a fresh twist which I hadn’t considered when stepping up to the U9s plate.
So do something out of enthusiasm for the greater good definitely, but there are benefits beyond the obvious with volunteering.