How to find your volunteering fit

It’s well known that volunteering is good for your health, your community, and can even help land you a job. But to get the most out of volunteering, you need to find the right fit. That way you’ll give your best, and get the most out of the experience.

Case Study

Christoph Hackenberg studied international development at Uni in Austria. Like many graduates he wasn’t exactly sure how the degree would translate into a career. He moved downunder and when he couldn’t find paid work decided to look for a volunteer position to help him launch his career.

Christoph tried a couple of volunteering roles with local charities, but realised he wanted to work for an international organisation. The perfect fit turned out to be an Advocacy and Child Rights Educational Internship at UNICEF. The volunteer role gave Christoph the chance to explore what international development agencies do. It also gave him much needed local experience and after six months he was able to get two paid part time roles one with the Somali Council and another doing public health research for a university.

The right fit for you might be as a scout leader, providing company for an elderly person, or even being the accountant for a charity. Maybe you can only work weekends, you want to work from home, or you prefer to spend your holidays volunteering everyone is different. Perhaps your motivation is to give back to the community. Or you may want to enhance your CV. Whatever your needs and wants, there really is something for everyone when it comes to volunteering.

To make it easier to find that perfect role, SEEK Volunteer lets you refine your search by causes, interests, your availability, and other factors such as accessibility. If, for example, you’d like to work with the homeless or young people, and you’re only available weekends, you’ll still find plenty of volunteer options on SEEK Volunteer that fit your requirements.

How to find your volunteering fit

Why Volunteer?

Nearly 40% of Australians volunteer according to the Australian Bureau of Statistics. We do it because it feels good to give to others. We believe our time spent volunteering is valuable.

To find the perfect volunteering fit ask yourself the following questions:

  • When am I available?
  • Do I want an on-going commitment?
  • What talents and skills do I have that could be used?
  • What causes or issues do I care about passionately?
  • Do I want to work with children, older people, animals, the environment, or something else?
  • How can I learn, grow and benefit from volunteering?
  • Do I want to volunteer regularly or would I prefer one-off projects, or micro volunteering?
  • Will it help me in my career and how?

Treat looking for volunteer work just like you would a job search. There are so many volunteering opportunities available that “the one” might not jump out instantly.

Test out new skills

The great thing about volunteering is that you can add real work environment skills to your CV and SEEK Profile. You may, for example, love computers, have taught yourself HTML coding, and designed websites for family and friends. A small charity in need of web design would probably be happy to give you a go as a volunteer. With that experience you can build a portfolio and reinvent yourself. This is your chance to shine.

“Volunteering can be a really great way to explore roles or experiences that you might not otherwise get in your current job,” says Rebecca Supierz, HR Manager at SEEK.

Finally, ask questions before saying “yes” or “no” to the volunteer role. Finding the right fit is a two-way process. The more questions you ask of your potential volunteering employer, the more likely you are to nail the fit.