How Volunteering can Change Your Life and Boost Your Career.

Woman browsing a cloths rack in a shop

By McDonald, T.  |  Date 21 of November 2017

Sometimes life can leave us with time on our hands and nothing to fill the void. In other cases, a person may just need a chance to get started or restarted in working life, or maybe, like me, you spend all your time in front of a screen coding and studying and simply need a break. In any case, some suitable activity can provide the experiences all people need in order to achieve a feeling of fulfilment. Volunteering is one such activity that can provide much more than people realise. With this in mind, what can someone expect from volunteering? A volunteer can expect a variety of duties and benefits.

Duties in the shop

A volunteer can expect a variety of activities. The standard model of a charity shop is to have clothing, housewares and book sections with the intension of providing quality second hand goods in order to support a charity financially. Standard duties in a charity shop can vary but mainly involve sorting and pricing. One such duty is pricing clothes, which involves sorting through donations and separating them into seasonal ware such as winter or summer and then pricing them from a chart. Once the sorting and pricing is complete, to get the creases out, the clothes are steamed. Although, the steamer is fun to use, staff all need to be aware of and clear on health and safety around the steamer; thus, all staffs receive training. Incidentally, the steamer looks somewhat like a vacuum cleaner with its tube and nozzle at the end. When ready, someone takes the clothes downstairs to the shop floor and places them in the correct section. Notably, it is important to keep the rails tidy, so the clothes have an order, for instance, grouping together all the sizes on the rail, which makes it easier for a customer to search through a clothes rail when looking for a particular size. Personally speaking, I find this task particularly satisfying. Obviously, all products in the store need sorting and this takes up a lot of time although people get quicker at it as time goes by. Luckily, it is usual more than one person is working on sorting, so there is always the chance for a giggle while working, which makes it more fun. In contrast, working on the till involves dealing directly with the customers and there is little chance to joke around, but on the plus side, there is a constant stream of new people to meet. In addition, if the person on the till needs a break or beverage, there is a buzzer to call people upstairs to the till. Sorting, pricing and working on the till are the usual duties when volunteering in a charity shop.

Rack of casual tops

Benefits of volunteering

Volunteering in a charity shop has many benefits. For example, everyone knows companionship is of great comfort to most people. Because it is often a very friendly environment, volunteering in a shop can provide people with something all humans need: friends. Obviously, the shop floor is a formal environment; nevertheless, the sound of laughter from upstairs is a common occurrence. Do you like laughing? Following on from this, people learn about teamwork and learn when to be formal and when to let their hair down although we are all aware we have targets to meet; raising money is both fun and a serious business. For myself, I find targets create a bit of extra fun. In addition, being a part of something that aims to make the world a better place in some way form is immensely satisfying; notably, people achieve a feeling of self-worth. Have you ever wanted to be a part of something special? It is worth remembering, volunteering has a practical side in respects that people gain valuable work experience and references, which always look good on a CV. Not only can someone gain work experience, but also qualifications in retail are available to the right candidate, which is worthwhile considering. Henceforth, volunteering has many benefits for both personal and professional reasons.

A variety of duties and humanly beneficial experiences; that, is what a person can expect from volunteering. As for a prediction, i cannot tell what you will choose to do, but what I do know is that if you do not at least try a few hours in a charity shop you will never find the hidden treasure the rest of us have found.

Places to volunteer:

Cancer Research
British Heart Foundation
Mind
Oxfam
Scope
Salvation Army

You can always do a search to find out about local charities and how you can help.  You never know, you might be surprised at what you find.

Hope you liked this post. Either way, please leave a comment.
Have a great day!  


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