Friday, 6 July 2012

Feature: Volunteer away those unemployment blues!

Can't get a job? Then why not volunteer!

I can't count the amount of people I know who are currently unemployed, out of education and generally idle in every possible way and that's not an expense at my maths skills either. These people like to complain about their situation: they spam Facebook, Twitter and any other social medium they can get their lazy paws on with tales of woe about their lacklustre lives. "I'm so bored! I wish I had something to DO with my life!" "Someone amuse me, I'm so depressed..." We all know at least one of these people. I was one myself, I'm rather ashamed to say, until I realised what an utter buffoon I had been...

Yes, the economy isn't great and it's bloody hard to get a job. Yes, I understand that further education isn't an option for everyone. But there's a solution to the unemployment blues that is so blatantly obvious that it is a testament to my own stupidity that it took me so long to notice it myself.

Volunteering, folks. It doesn't matter which charity you choose, whether you like people, animals or something else entirely - most of these guys desperately need volunteers with flexible schedules and lots of free time. For me, it was a natural choice. Having recently gone from having six cats to having absolutely none, the Cats Protection was both a way to get my cat fix and something to take my mind off other things. And you know what? It feels amazing. If you won't do it to help out the needy, then do it to make yourself feel good. Yeah, it's a selfish attitude but the charity gets much needed help and you get out of bed before 1pm on a weekday.

Now I'm sure our readers aren't that selfish. Of course many of you love people and their furry companions! Why wouldn't you want to make sure some poor abandoned animals have a nice, cosy place to stay while they wait for their forever home? Or maybe you'd rather help run a store that raises money for homeless people? Either way, the opportunities are right there waiting for you to get off your lazy good-for-nothing bum and take them! In this day and age, it's not even hard to get involved. That's right, you don't even have to leave your house (I bet you haven't even showered yet anyway). Most of these charities have websites now, complete with numbers to phone or forms to fill out to get you straight into volunteering. You even have a small amount of choice about what you actually do for them - for example, the Cats Protection need both volunteers to clean out cat pens, and also people to run their charity shops for them. Did you know that, legally, every charity shop needs to have at least two people there to open every day? Think about how hard that is to do, when most of the volunteers have day jobs. And if they don't open, they don't sell anything and before long some very needy animals/people start to go without.

If you really still need more encouragement, then consider this: a few weeks of volunteering would look just wonderful on your C.V to potential employers. You never know, it might even help you finally break free of the hell that is unemployment. And if it doesn't, well at least you'll feel darned good about yourself!
Now if you'll excuse me, I have to go and pick the cat hair off my clothes...

Why not start looking today? 

 - Charlotte Peters


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