There’s loads you can get involved in that’ll build your confidence and help you return to work. It’ll also fill that gap in your CV – and give you something solid to talk about in interview. Here are some examples.
1. School events and PTA
As a parent at your child’s school, you’re automatically on the Parents and Teacher’s Association. Whether you help coordinate school fairs or organise fund raisers, all schools need volunteers to help run their annual events.
If you’re looking for something that builds on your skills, why not take on a role? Being Chair, Treasurer, Secretary or Committee Member will let you take on responsibilities that will provide some excellent CV content. You’ll also tap into a network of other parents while supporting your child’s education.
2. Police volunteer
The Metropolitan Police need anyone with a little time to give and the enthusiasm to make a difference. Although professional expertise is welcome, you don’t need to have any particular skills.
In terms of time, the hours are flexible to suit you. Volunteers on average contribute four hours a week, and certainly not more than forty hours a month. You’ll also be given reimbursement for any reasonable ‘out of pocket’ travel expenses to and from your place of volunteering.
3. Children’s charities
If you want a professional role from home, contact a local children’s charity like The National Childbirth Trust (NCT). You could edit or write for a newsletter, or take on a Marketing role.
You’ll be given support from your fellow committee members (while making friends with other mums). The NCT also has group forums to guide you in your role, as well as support from their Head Office.
4. Volunteering your time
Organisations like TimeBank make it so easy to volunteer set amounts of time in your local area. It’s also a great way to get a reference for your new employer.
You can try out different roles first before you commit, which is ideal if you’re looking to go in a new career direction. They’ll reimburse you for any out-of pocket expenses, as well as providing you with relevant training and support.
Taking on a role in Girlguiding UK is another excellent way to boost your CV. There are loads of different types of roles, from marketing to fundraising.
If you choose to become an official Leader you can take their Leadership Qualification. You could qualify in First Aid or learn about Event Management. Or if you only have a few hours to spare and don’t want such a commitment, there are other options. They also need Unit Helpers, and people to help with the accounts. It’s an excellent opportunity to mentor children, too.
Still not convinced? In a recent volunteering survey, 73% of the UK’s top businesses said they would employ someone who’s volunteered over someone who hasn’t. You’ll develop a whole range of expertise, from communication and organisational skills to teamwork and leadership. Plus you’ll really grow your network of friends and professional contacts, giving your confidence a massive boost along the way!
For more tips on getting ready to return to work, take a look at our guide on options for reskilling.