Career Advice

3 Hidden Advantages of Doing Volunteer Work Whilst Unemployed

One Nice Job 14 January, 2020

Unemployment is difficult, and the time you spend unemployed may be one of the most challenging times of your life. However, there's one benefit to being unemployed. You have free time on your hands, perhaps for the first time in your adult working life. How are you going to use it to your advantage?

One of the best things you can do to make valuable use of your time is volunteer work. Besides making you feel good as a person, there are hidden advantages to volunteering. 

Developing Transferable Skills

People acquire transferable skills through hobbies, volunteer work, and jobs. Transferable skills transfer from one industry to another and volunteering gives you an excellent opportunity to grow your current transferable skillsets and build new ones. 

Here are some examples of transferable skills you can acquire through volunteering.

  • Problem-solving
  • Grant writing
  • Project management
  • Program development
  • Public speaking
  • Computer skills

Filling Unemployment Gaps

Every employer knows that unemployment happens. If you weren't unemployed or job-searching, you'd not be sitting in front of them for an interview. However, one thing recruiters look at whilst reviewing your application and resume is how long you were unemployed and how you spent your time during that period. 

Filling an employment gap with volunteer work demonstrates to prospective employers that you're a productive person who seeks growth opportunities even during downtime. Also, it shows that you're a compassionate person, which also doesn't hurt your image. 

Making Valuable Connections

Everybody you meet has something valuable to add to your life. When you meet other people who are volunteering, you have new opportunities to network and get to know people who can help you in your job search.

Whether they're a potential employer or just someone who can introduce you to other people, the connections you make whilst volunteering can be meaningful in your job search. 


No time is wasted time. It's all about what you make of it. There are few better ways to pass the time than by helping others, and in so doing, it may help you.