Whatever role you do, becoming a Career Ready volunteer is a fun, flexible and inspiring way to spend your time. Here, Angele Tilly, our Volunteer Operations Manager, shares five reasons why you should sign up.
Transform a young person’s life
Every year, thousands of our young people report that their mentor has helped transform their lives by providing them with skills, self-confidence, and broader aspirations they need to transition from education to rewarding employment. Indeed, 98% of our young people go onto positive destinations after leaving the programme thanks to the support of our volunteers.
The support you provide will help a young person for years to come and, as with a great teacher, the impact and memory of a supportive mentor can last a lifetime – and many of our mentors and mentees stay in touch after the programme has finished!
I was frustrated and angry with a bad attitude, fed up of being told that I couldn’t do things because of my disability. I knew that Career Ready was going to change my life and it really has thanks to the support of Alan, my mentor.
Jephta Asamoah | Formerly of Barking & Dagenham College, now at Lancaster University
Develop your professional skillset
Obviously the main reason is to boost the skill set of your mentee, but mentoring is also a great way of boosting your own professional skill set. With 91% of Career Ready volunteers rating their mentoring and coaching skills as good or better by the end of their volunteering experience.
As a mentor, you’re developing and showcasing leadership skills, the ability to build connections with people from different backgrounds, and improving your ability to help others develop new skills.
Volunteering as a mentor has also made me more confident and I have no doubt that this has developed my planning, preparation, and presenting skills.
Katie Burrett | Business Coordinator, Burrett Cleaning Services
Indeed, it’s such a great way of boosting your professional skill set that it can often count towards your organisation’s CPD scheme.
The feel-good factor
Whether it's doing a simple favour for a friend or being involved in a more long-term volunteering programme, altruism is one of the best ways of helping yourself feel better.
When we help others our brains release endorphins which help make us feel happier and less stressed, boosting our overall mental health and wellbeing. In a recent study, 94% of people said that volunteering improves their mood, and 76% said that it made them feel healthier.
Boost your career prospects
Yes, we know that it’s a rather selfish reason to volunteer, but the reality is that volunteering is a great way of boosting your career prospects.
Aside from the wider skill development which it brings, volunteering really stands out on your CV and hiring managers view it very favourably – after all, who wouldn’t want to work with someone with a track record of being kind and helpful?
82% of hiring managers are more likely to choose a candidate with volunteering experience
2016 Deloitte Impact Survey: Building leadership skills through volunteerism
Gain a new perspective on life
Gaining a new perspective and getting out of your comfort zone is often key to success, happiness, and empathy with others. All too often, however, because of the competiting pressures of work and life, as well as spending time with people with similar experiences and outlooks as ourselves, we get 'stuck in a rut' and miss out on the benefits of seeing life in a new light.
Volunteering and meeting new people is a great way to fix this.
Young people on our programme come from a range of backgrounds and walks of life, so – in your mentoring or masterclass sessions - you’ll start to see the world from their perspective and enjoy the changes this can make to your own outlook on life.