By Lucy Fry

Over my last two blogs, I’ve reviewed Volunteering and its function in the community, and the benefits it can leverage for our own mental and physical well-being.  Today in the final blog, I consider how volunteering can assist with our job hunting and careers, and how employers too can benefit from actively encouraging and supporting a volunteering culture in the workplace.

Job Hunting and Career Advancement

If you’re looking for your first or a new opportunity, or even looking to change career, volunteering can help you to practise using existing skills and learn new valuable skills, gain new experiences and importantly, meet people in the field.  It provides an opportunity to try out a new career or organisation without making a long term commitment.

For recruiters, seeing that a candidate has or does volunteer work tells them a lot of positive things about the candidate, about their social skills, nature and interests, ability to adapt.  At interview stage, talking volunteering can bring about examples of competence, and passion.

Work Place

So volunteering can make us more attractive candidates and for Employers the notion of supporting ones own community and causes displays an integral part of a companies values.  It impacts its reputation as an employer of choice.  Companies recognise that encouraging employees to spend some work time helping others will make us more engaged in the workplace and thus ultimately, more productive. Employees can be proud of who they work for, as opposed to indifferent or event ashamed of.

“Millennials who frequently participate in workplace volunteer activities are twice as likely to be very satisfied with the progression of their career. “  Deloitte Volunteer IMPACT Survey 2011

Technology

And so it follows for our blend of tech less and tech savvy generations that technology helps us to encourage, participate, keep a record and share so we can feel even greater about ourselves and be happier, healthier,  work longer live longer. It’s a WIN WIN situation.

Oracle HCM Cloud R13 offers a new Volunteering module to enable workers to register and indicate preferences of locations and projects to support and keep track of developments and latest projects.  They can manage their own profile, update progress and review history.  Administrators can send employee notifications, seek feedback and review the impact of projects across the organisation.

Workers can invite people to join in volunteering projects. Invited workers can view the invites on their Recommended Projects and choose to register for them. Workers can join volunteering projects as a team.  Members of teams can view their team’s progress, and keep track of their own effort when trying to achieve the team volunteering goal. Volunteers can post updates of their volunteering project in social media.

Organisations can track and analyse reported voluntary activity and other metrics like productivity, engagement etc.

Summary

Perhaps the more we do, the more we will want to continue doing and share the benefits with our close networks too.  So, to answer my own cynical question, there may be some of us who raise awareness of worthy causes for self-promotion purposes, but I don’t think that really matters as the benefits to the recipients are priceless.  We know within ourselves what we do and give, and serves us too, so in a sense, if were not authentic and genuinely giving then we are only cheating ourselves and the potential positivity to the community and ourselves.

We don’t have to record volunteering work or acts of kindness at work to feel good about ourselves, we can still make a difference, but it is worth while doing so that we can research further benefits or impacts for our evolving knowledge.

Since researching this article I have made some small steps for giving back and honestly I wish I had done more earlier, and I’m not asking you to feel good about myself, but doing them does make me feel good.

Volunteering

There are volunteering opportunities everywhere, we really don’t have to look that hard and they can be regular or one off depending on the time we have in our lives.  Think about your interests and strengths or area’s you want to improve and there will be a volunteering opportunity for you.

Why not join us on our webinar about Volunteering on Wednesday 5th August at 10am. Click here to register.