Volunteering: A Stepping Stone for Career Choices and Skill Development
Volunteering offers a unique opportunity for individuals, especially apprentices, to explore various career paths, gain valuable experience, and develop essential soft skills. It’s an excellent way to determine if a particular job aligns with your interests and preferences. Moreover, volunteering positions enable you to learn new skills or enhance existing ones, expand your network, boost your confidence, and contribute positively to your community.
Choosing the Right Volunteering Role
Finding the perfect volunteering role might require starting with smaller, more accessible opportunities, as some positions can be competitive or age-restricted. If you have a specific career goal, think creatively about where and what type of volunteering would be most beneficial. Researching the sector you’re interested in and seeking roles that help develop soft skills like public speaking, organisation, leadership, and communication is advisable.
Applying for Volunteer Positions
Most volunteering roles require a CV and cover letter. Whether responding to an advert or approaching organisations directly, it’s crucial to demonstrate eagerness, reliability, and commitment. Volunteering opportunities can be found on platforms like Do It.
Preparing for Your Volunteering Role
To ensure a smooth start, familiarise yourself with the organisation, confirm your schedule, complete any necessary paperwork (like DBS clearance), and understand specific requirements like dress codes or organisational rules.
In conclusion, volunteering is more than just giving back to the community; it’s a pathway to personal and professional growth, allowing you to test different careers, build skills, and make informed choices for your future.
Ideas for Volunteering
- For a procurement professional looking to volunteer, there are several opportunities that can leverage their expertise while contributing to various causes. Here are some ideas:
- Non-Profit Supply Chain Management: Offer your procurement skills to non-profit organisations that need help in managing their supply chains. This could involve sourcing materials for charitable projects, managing inventories, or negotiating with suppliers for better rates.
- Fundraising Event Sourcing: Use your procurement expertise to assist charities in sourcing venues, caterers, and other necessities for fundraising events at optimal costs.
- Educational Workshops: Conduct workshops or training sessions for small businesses or non-profit organisations on effective procurement strategies, cost management, and supplier relationship management.
- Procurement Consulting for Charities: Offer pro bono consulting services to charities to help them optimise their purchasing processes, reduce costs, and establish sustainable procurement practices.
- Mentoring Start-Ups: Use your experience to guide start-ups on procurement strategies, helping them understand the importance of cost-effective purchasing and supply chain management.
- Volunteering with Government Agencies: Some local government agencies might need voluntary assistance in procurement for community projects, especially in times of budget constraints.
- Disaster Relief Supply Management: In times of natural disasters, volunteer your skills to help manage and distribute supplies effectively for relief efforts.
- Volunteering at Social Enterprises: Social enterprises often operate with tight budgets. Your procurement expertise could help them manage costs while maintaining their social impact.
- Sustainable Procurement Advocacy: Work with organisations to promote and implement sustainable and ethical procurement practices.