Volunteering can be a good way of meeting people and learning new skills, but it's also a great way to learn what support you need to work (such as reasonable adjustments) without the stress of trying to hold down a job. By understanding what working patterns suit you, you'll have a better idea of what jobs suit you.
You should get as much from volunteering as the organisation you’re helping. The best reason to volunteer is because you want to. This could be because you're gaining useful experience or because you enjoy it.
Agreeing goals with your manager in a volunteer agreement can help you to get more from volunteering. Reviewing these goals at regular meetings can also help.
Getting a paid job where you volunteer
Some volunteers move into paid jobs where they volunteer, but this is not guaranteed. If you are interested in a paid role, ask your manager to let you know if any position becomes available. By asking that, you will show your willingness and desire for a paid job. Be careful not to volunteer for longer than you want because your manager suggests that volunteering might lead to paid work. You could be being exploited if you are doing work that your colleagues are paid to do.
Good volunteer roles
If you’ve applied for a job you want and haven’t been successful, a good volunteer role or training can help you to get the skills and experience you need.