Around 15 years ago I was working as a residential support worker caring for people, I was not enjoying my work but had no experience in retail, which I wanted to do.
One day while shopping in a charity shop, I went to the counter to be served, I noticed the lady serving me was upset, so I asked if she was ok…. She broke down and started to tell me she lost her husband recently and the gentleman she had just served reminded her of him, I felt sorry for her, so when she informed me they needed volunteers I applied there and then.
The following week I started doing a few hours around my regular work, they started me of with distributing leaflets, collecting the donation sacks, working back of house sorting, and steaming stock, working front of house restocking rails, pricing stock, serving customers and helping while deputy or manager was off.
I was then informed of a vacancy for a paid position as deputy manager that going at new branch that was opening, and told to apply. I did not feel ready to do this so passed on it………6 months later this position came up again, again I refused to apply…. Thankfully my team members applied for me and I was interviewed, while working as a volunteer, I got the position.
From deputy manager, I went to temporary manager, back to deputy manager, then manager in less than 3 years. I learnt everything I needed as a volunteer.
For myself I had little confidence and struggled to show myself positively in an interview, so volunteering built my confidence, and gave me all the knowledge needed to work in this area.
It helped me to gain the skills and confidence I needed to successfully gain my role as a Retail Hub Supervisor at CT Furniture Wolverhampton.
I would advise that anyone that is at a loss, needs company, wants to belong, is looking to get back into work; volunteering is the best way of doing this. Not only does it opens doors, boost your confidence and self esteem but it also prepares you for the world of work; equipping you with new skills and gives you the opportunity to meet a range of new, interesting, helpful and supportive individuals.
If your interested in volunteering, visit our volunteer page to find out more.