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Get the most out of volunteering

Return to the main Swale Borough Council website - Volunteering page.

How to get the most out of your volunteering experience        

Volunteering can provide a whole host of benefits if you are willing to put in the effort so it's important that you're well equipped to make the most of the experience. Follow these top tips to make the most of your time as a volunteer!

Choose carefully

Getting involved in the right opportunity is vital; if you have no interest in the work you are doing you're less likely to give it 100%. Before you commit to anything ask yourself what you want to get out of volunteering, what area you'd like to work in and how much time you are able to give. Once you have this clear in your mind you can start searching for opportunities which meet these criteria. If you can't find something that meets everything you want, prioritise.

If you start working somewhere and decide it's not for you, assess what was wrong with the situation, talk to the organisation about it and if it's still not for you, search for something else. The better the match for a role you are, the more you can get out of the experience and the more the organisation can benefit too.

Be honest

If you can't commit to 2 hours work every Saturday for the next year, then don't sign up for that. Groups are grateful for your help and understand that some flexibility around working hours may be required, but it's unfair to agree to something and then not follow through. The more upfront and honest you are, the better the relationships you form will be.

Reflect on your experience

Reflect on your work on a regular basis; analyse events, analyse your actions and think about what you've done well and what you could have done better. Don't worry about making mistakes; learn from them and do things differently next time. By doing this you can develop new skills and improve on your existing ones. Not only can this be greatly beneficial on a personal level, it can give a great boost to your employability too.

Challenge yourself

Time is precious; with limited hours to spare you want your work to be worthwhile. Often volunteering can push you out of your comfort zone; don't let this faze you. If you have the chance to try something new, go for it!

Embrace opportunities, expect the unexpected and challenge yourself. You stand to gain confidence, maturity and a great level of pride in your work. What do you have to lose?

Your time is what you make of it; make volunteering work for you.

Return to the main Swale Borough Council website - Volunteering page.