Employment Opinions

Volunteering – A selfish act or a selfless deed?

Written by Simi Gupta


Volunteering is a fantastic way in gaining employable skills. However, isn’t volunteering supposed to be a selfless act? It’s brilliant to hear that students are taking in every opportunity to help themselves grow, but it is important to remember that we volunteer to help others and to make a difference.

Here are reasons to why students opt for volunteering.

Add to your CV. You may impress employers by showing them that you’ve done a selfless act, but is that really the case? Whether they are paid or unpaid, internships can be difficult to obtain and students are doing whatever it takes to bulk up their CV. Additionally, everybody loves volunteers and like to take them on, resulting in gaining the experience easily. It’s fantastic to show that you’re determined to push yourself up the career ladder, but it can be felt that nobody knows the true meaning of volunteering anymore.

Experience the world of work. Studying and working are two completely different elements. You’ll realise that once you have some work experience, you’ll realise that a fancy degree doesn’t always get you a fancy, high paid job.

Confidence boost. Volunteering can help you learn new things. Additionally, entering into the world of employment can be a scary concept and volunteering aids in gaining that insight. Furthermore, what you’ll notice is that people are very friendly towards their volunteers and you’ll able to experience what interests you and what you don’t. It’s a great way to discover who you actually are and what you’d like to become.

Why should you volunteer?

To put it forward quite simply, it is to help others.

The act of volunteering is all about giving up your time to help those that are in need. In terms of relating this to your career, putting your heart and soul into doing a good deed shows your honest commitment and that you’re a hard worker. Both of these elements are qualities that employers admire. In other words, you’re hitting one bird with one stone without probably realising that you’re doing it.


If you take a look at the vast amount of inspiration quotes out there, you’ll see that one of them says that if you do what you love for a living, you won’t have to work a day in your life. It’s a brilliant phrase, and one which everyone should aim for. In relation to volunteering, it’s important not to volunteer for the sake of volunteering. Volunteer for something that you feel passionate towards. If you’re in the position where you get paid for something that you absolutely love doing, then that’s great. However, at a student level, it’s difficult to get jobs or experience which sometimes feels like a chore, especially if you’re not getting paid. With so much going on within the current affairs, there’s a lot that can be done and, furthermore, there’s room for individuals to show that they can make a difference. If you can show this, not only does this show that you have a clean heart, it shows leadership. It also shows that you have the ability to stand away from the crowd and build something for yourself. In other words, it shows strength and intelligence.

Employers want to work with good people. Although different employers have a different view on what they like to see in their applicants, one thing for sure is that they want to see that you are passionate about something. They also want to see that you have a life. I am sure you’ve heard of the term, ‘stand out from the crowd’ millions of times. However, don’t you think making a difference in other people’s lives illustrates that you’re standing out from the crowd?

Use your head and heart wisely.

If you like this post, here’s some more of Simi’s writing. Benefits of working part-time job whilst studying or all of her posts here.

About the author

Simi Gupta

An aspiring lawyer and fitness geek , studying at the University of Hertfordshire, who also takes pride in helping others to make a difference.