To celebrate Volunteers Week 2018 our Vice-Chair, Lucy Filby, has written about her experience as a volunteer and how it helped her progress in her career…
Why I volunteer
Originally I volunteered to gain work experience after studying, ultimately to get a job. I gained a lot more confidence from volunteering and it also gave me the opportunity to try new things. I learned that working outdoors and with the public were things I enjoyed. It worked out as I started my career 18 years ago.
Volunteering is something I have continued to do throughout my career. As someone who now regularly sits on the other side of the interview table, I really appreciate how volunteering can help launch a new career. Being able to demonstrate your competency in skills by giving real life examples from your experience is invaluable at an interview. Even now, after 18 years in my career, I regularly refer to the skills I learned as a volunteer in my applications and interviews.
Now a days I volunteer as a way to challenge myself, broaden my knowledge, learn new skills and provide work life balance. I have taken on a wide variety of volunteering roles from identifying types of jellyfish, counting fishermen, photographing seals, dog handling, market research, fundraising, tour guiding, giving school talks, organising health walks and now as a director of the CEI. I really enjoy being able to ‘switch off’ and focus on something different for a while. I love learning new things, even if I find out that I ‘m not a natural at it – at least I gave it go!
You might be surprised how much you enjoy volunteering – why don’t you give it a go too?