Your community is calling Have you thought about volunteering? - SEEK Career Advice

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Your community is calling

Your community is calling

We all know that the festive season is a time for giving. We give gifts, we give cheer, we give money, and some people even give time to charity organisations in need.

While this message of giving may seem loud, and one deeply intertwined into our notion of the festive season, only 16% of working Australians currently volunteer their time to help others, with a slightly larger 37% saying they have done so in the past.

So, what’s stopping you from giving back to your community? The festive season is a great time to volunteer, get involved in seasonal events, and capitalise on a period when traditional work hours and stresses are reduced.

Here are three reasons why volunteering this festive season and beyond is easier than you thought, and why you should get involved:

  1. It’s a time for local focus. Committing to a local organisation or volunteering opportunity not only benefits the community, but will likely make the process easier for you. Balancing catch-ups with friends and family during this season is considerably easier if you choose to volunteer close to home, and there’s also a good chance you know the people and culture of the neighbourhood you’re working in.

    Volunteers who can relate to their community are valuable to organisations because they bear knowledge of the community members, their needs, and the issues that affect them – an important part of any role, whether it’s paid or voluntary. Use the location search bar on SEEK Volunteer to nominate a suburb, postcode, city or state, or even opportunities within a radius of five to 100km.
  2. If you use your skills, your skills benefit. The wonderful thing about volunteering is that you don’t need to learn new skills, processes or technologies, but rather you can expand and enhance your own skills by offering them up to a charitable organisation. Using your experience to give back to the community is an easy and rewarding way to transition into the world of volunteering. Further to this, 85% of employers say that volunteering experience is just as credible as paid work experience, so it’s likely to benefit your career too. What a way to end the year!
  3. The opportunities are diverse. Volunteering opportunities come in all shapes and sizes, and are not limited to gift wrapping or playing Santa at a shopping centre (though these roles do exist if you’re interested!). Through SEEK Volunteer, you can commit to one-off or ongoing opportunities, apply yourself to industries and causes you’re passionate about, or seek out an organisation you know and admire.

Volunteering enables people to be part of something meaningful, and that positively impacts their community, in ways that work best for them. As a whole the not-for-profit sector contributes just over 4% of Gross Domestic Product to the nation’s economy, totalling around $57 million, says Head of SEEK Volunteer, Bec MillerAmanda Robinson. “It’s largely supported by volunteers, who contribute an additional $14.6 billion in unpaid work to the economy every year,” she continues. So why not be part of something great, and find yourself an opportunity this season? There are currently over 11,000 to choose from.

Further to this, 85% of employers say that volunteering experience is just as credible as paid work experience, so it’s likely to benefit your career too.