Volunteering is a way to boost confidence, gain new skills and experience that help in life and at work, and most of all give you a good feeling about doing something positive to help.
It’s always been a good way to enhance your CV and standout from the crowd, but this could take on even greater importance as we get to grips with the changes to the employment landscape that the pandemic is bringing.
And because climate change is a pressing problem, green volunteering ticks lots of boxes too.
Getting involved in practical conservation and environmental work means you’re doing your bit for the environment - plus spending time outside in the fresh air on physical tasks can be good for physical and emotional wellbeing.
There’s another factor that makes it even more compelling: It can also make you a stronger employee or job candidate.
Many employers now run volunteering programmes during work hours - at HR GO we have plans to do green acts as a company.
Or you might choose to volunteer your own time to get involved in projects that improve your own local community, like:
Getting outdoors and away from the normal workplace hierarchies and departmental set ups means you can get to know each other better.
Pulling together on a shared environmental goal for the day gives you a chance to find common ground - and nurture new relationships - with people you wouldn’t normally spend time with. And if you’re currently looking for your next role, making new contacts can pay dividends down the line.
Many local environmental organisations and community projects are in constant need of volunteers and rely on the help they get from volunteer schemes - even if your group only spends a single day at one of their sites.
A significant boost in manpower means they can concentrate on more projects throughout the year - and better maintain the green spaces they care for.
The lessons you learn from environmental volunteering can be brought back to your role and everyday life.
You’ll grow your knowledge and awareness of the eco challenges affecting us all - and find out how problems happening at a local level are linked to global environmental issues.
And you’ll probably find that you become even more eco-conscious at work, and think more about how you can minimise waste and energy.
This might feed through to your own habits at home, too, when it comes to the things you buy and how you travel -and the environmental impact your own actions can have.
When the National Council for Voluntary Organisations ran a survey in 2019, it found that 74% of employees taking part in volunteering gained more confidence and 76% gained new skills - whether that’s in communication, collaboration, leadership or practical volunteering skills.
So whether you’re looking to develop in your existing role or need to beef up your CV for a job hunt, environmental volunteering clearly helps more than the planet.