There are many ways to gain new skills, many think to achieve this by returning to school or by taking on a second job, amongst the ways in which people seek to improve their skill set, another avenue is volunteering.
Volunteering can provide an excellent opportunity to gain new skills. The primary skills you can gain are those of teamwork and communication, as all volunteering requires you to interact with others and work as part of a team to make a cohesive impact. This can result in increased communication and teamwork skills which can be useful in many careers. Adding to this is that the team elements to the volunteering work will give you a chance to lead teams, giving you leadership skills which will help your career prospects even further.
The experience of communicating and interacting with new people can even lend itself to those who are somewhat shy as it will make them more used to talking with others and coming out of their shells to perform a task, which can then get them used to doing this in a social and professional context additionally.
Many volunteering opportunities which allow you to further your skills also provide courses on skills where you can actually gain a qualification. These qualifications are very broad ranging, such as Duke of Edinburgh and other expedition awards relating to the outdoors. While for those who prefer playing sports, certificates in sports leadership allow these hobbies to be used to produce a qualification.
The charity organisation the Army Cadets, also on offer is training in first aid- which can benefit a CV due to many places of work requiring a minimum number of employees be qualified in this. Other courses surprisingly present more obviously professional qualifications- with qualifications in PR, for anyone who wants to add to their qualifications or may be looking to qualify in other areas as a way to change their career.
It is always good to gain new skills, be it to supplement previously existing hobbies, to gain qualifications and experience in a bid to increase professional prospects or to improve areas where you know you are lacking. With this in mind, the types of volunteering mentioned can provide a vast and diverse resource to gain new skills over the next twelve months, so why not give it a go?
Image credit – D. Sharon Pruitt – www.flickr.com/photos/pinksherbet/3370498053