You never know where volunteering will lead!

A uni graduate tells us what GoodGym volunteering has done for her

May 14, 2021


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After graduating from University in 2019, Ellie struggled to find her first ‘proper’ job. She initially applied to lots of jobs, often being rejected due to a ‘lack of experience’ or not even receiving a reply. Then the pandemic hit in March of 2020 and the job market almost completely dried up. Ellie tells us her story here....

I had been a volunteer with GoodGym since 2017 and when lockdown started I began to get more involved with missions - one off tasks to help older people - delivering shopping to people who were shielding.

Then in April 2020 I started volunteering at GoodGym as an operations volunteer, doing more admin alongside the central team, helping to process the missions tasks. It was the perfect opportunity for me to gain some more skills and experience whilst I was searching for a full time job as well as helping me feel useful and like I was contributing in some way. It helped give me back my sense of purpose.

After volunteering for several months and learning the ins and outs of the GoodGym Older People Operations (OpOps) team, a full time position became available. I applied straight away as I had loved the volunteering work so far and saw this as an opportunity to expand my skills and knowledge. I was successful in my application almost certainly due to my experience as a volunteer. I already knew a lot about the role and the team were familiar with me and my working style.

This has been the best first step I could have asked for. Volunteering gave me the foot in the door I needed in order to gain the skills and experience to be hired full time. It has given me the opportunity to develop professionally and gain confidence. GoodGym as an organisation has encouraged me to learn and grow in many different areas, allowing me to take responsibility for managing certain key partner relationships, getting involved in their inclusion and diversity work and even learning basic coding skills!

I have subsequently secured another job that I will be moving on to soon and whilst I’ll be very sad to leave GoodGym I can honestly say I wouldn't have secured this job had it not been for the volunteering work I did. It gave me tangible experience to draw on in my interview and allowed me to show clear progression and being trusted with increasing responsibility.

So, give volunteering a go. I truly believe it is the key to getting the experience you need as a graduate to secure that first full time job. It gives you a chance to show what you’re made of and build confidence within a professional environment. The flexibility of it means you can still job hunt at the same time as helping out and making a difference. There are hundreds of fabulous opportunities out there to get involved with - although I am slightly biased in saying that being an Operations Volunteer at GoodGym is the best one!

If you want to find out more about volunteering like Ellie, you can read about it here.

Have your own GoodGym story to share with the community? Email and we'll be in touch.
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