• Noel Williams

Volunteering in the community as a solution to unemployment


Unemployment is a global issue that needs addressing constantly by governments and economists. The financial impact it can have on an individual or family is often devastating and can lead to other issues such as depression, stress, lack of self-esteem, and even illnesses. Yet, there is a solution to many of the issues that arise as a result of unemployment and that solution is volunteering.


Volunteering does not necessarily bring financial stability, and each person affected by unemployment has their own unique situations.


Some countries offer welfare or benefits systems for the unemployed, which is useful when the employment in the job market is scarce. Although there are many countries that do not offer financial support. For example, in many Asian countries, not having a job usually means that people rely on family support because the governments do not offer unemployment benefits.


In all cases, whether you are in Asia, the USA, South America, Europe, or Africa, there is a solution that can help with the negative effects of unemployment.


Below we will look at how volunteering in the community as a solution to unemployment can help an unemployed individual by reviewing the issues that unemployment can cause and how volunteering can help negate the negative effects of these issues.


Financial Problems


Financial issues are the ultimate burden of employment and volunteering does not solve the lack of income, but volunteering can help quell some of the negative influences a lack of income can have on a person’s psyche which we will cover below.


Volunteering can also help a person get back to work faster by keeping them active and socially integrated within society. The quicker a person gets back to work; the less financial impact unemployment will have on that person.


Volunteering…

  • helps people deal with social issues caused by financial problems

  • can help to get people back to earning an income


Social Development


When people work, they generally visit a workplace with other employees working there. At the workplace, social interactions ensue and this helps with social development. One issue with not having regular social interactions is the loss of social skills. This is especially detrimental when it comes to job interviews whereby social skills are a part of the interview process.


By volunteering in the local community while unemployed people can prevent themselves from losing their social skills. There is also an unseen advantage here, too. Volunteering also means meeting new people.


These new relationships can broaden a person’s horizons and develop their personality by learning how to form new relationships. Not only does this help with self-confidence, but it also brings new stimuli and motivation, which is important during times of unemployment. For those not interacting with others due to unemployment, the exact opposite of emotions can arise.


Perhaps one of the key benefits we take from the social development advantages gained via volunteering in the community is that these newfound social skills and emotions also help when it comes to job interviews.


Volunteering…

  • helps with self-confidence

  • encourages new stimuli and motivation

  • involves meeting new people

  • helps build social skills and new relationships


Feeling of Importance and Meaningfulness,


Most people that are unemployed say that one of the most stressful factors is the feeling of being unimportant or even unwanted. With no job, people often feel their life has no meaning. These are feelings that brew inside whether they are rich or poor.


People often describe it as waking up in the morning in an empty world. Volunteering in the community as a solution to unemployment is the perfect solution for multiple reasons.


If there is a local volunteering project, then the best thing to do is get involved. Setting goals and objectives for the volunteering program is an excellent way to feel important, while the pride and giving value from their own activity is another benefit. For many, helping the community by giving something back to the world offers meaningfulness to an individual’s life.


Volunteering…

  • gives people a reason to live

  • allows people to set goals while unemployed

  • encourages self-importance

  • gives people a sense of pride


Team Building


Volunteering projects often require coloration, which means teamwork. Of course, teamwork is an essential part of most work environments. Very few jobs require only individual effort and even those that are individual orientated, like a taxi driver, team building by networking with other cabbies can help increase daily earnings.


Unemployment can often lead to people feeling withdrawn from society and alone. This can also brew self-pity and selfish behaviours. It could mean that when someone finds gainful employment, they fail the trial period because they could not work as a team player.


Some of the best solutions for the unemployed to work on their team-building skills include playing team sports and volunteering.


Volunteering…

  • gives people a reason to live

  • allows people to set goals while unemployed

  • encourages self-importance

  • gives people a sense of pride


Learning New Skills


When volunteering, people often find voluntary work that is outside of their comfort zone or skill set. This could be a large landscaping project, renovating a local facility or religious building, or helping people in need. If these activities are something that unemployed people did not perform within their usual area of employment, it often means they develop new skills.


New skills can help people diversify their skill set, especially when the job market in their area of expertise is saturated. For example, maybe factories are closing in the secondary sector and industry jobs are now scarce.. Learning to paint, landscape, or renovate could help to find employment.


There are also volunteering jobs that are there to help others with finances such as the Citizens Advice Bureau in the UK. This is an organisation where volunteers donate their time to help people with debt, legal issues, and disputes whereby those people cannot afford to pay for consultation or advice.


Plus, there are schools and charities that need help with events, IT systems, plumbing, electrics, lighting, and the list goes on. Even a small amount of knowledge on any of these subjects is good enough for volunteers, and while on the job, volunteers can gain confidence in other lines of work!

  • learn skills that can help diversify employment opportunities

  • learn new skills that may help in your current line of work


Networking


As we have already mentioned, volunteering in the community means meeting new people. The more people someone meets, the higher the chances of meeting someone that knows of a friend who has a job opening within the job market the volunteer is skilled in.


Obviously, volunteering for the purpose of networking is a more selfish side to the concept, but if someone is willing to give back time to the community in exchange for networking, this is also a fair trade depending on your moral compass.


By nature, people are inherently good 9we like to think so anyway) and want to help. That means helping by volunteering and helping others find gainful employment, so they do not sink into financial difficulties.

In fact, volunteering time given to the community in exchange for the possibility of networking is very similar to the concept of time banking.


Volunteering…

  • is a way to swap time given for networking privileges

  • allows people to meet others that can find them employment


Time Banking Volunteering in the Community as a Solution to Unemployment


There are 100s of time banking communities forming across the globe. The concept of sharing time as a currency instead of money is one that is growing in popularity. You may also see the term ‘Time Banking Volunteering’ which we have an entire blog explaining the concept of time banking volunteering mass adoption.


If you are not familiar with the concept, then please also read our blog ‘The Timebanking Definition Explained for Beginners’.


Finding Employment Via Time banking Volunteering


As people within time banking communities receive payment in ‘time worked’ and not ‘cash’ or ‘money’, these communities are very flexible.


On top of this, the communities use the concept of ‘social equality’ i.e. a lawyer can spend 2 hours on legal documents for someone and earn 2 hours of time just the same as he or she could spend 2 hours painting

and still earn the same 2 hours of time.


For unemployed people, time banking volunteering is the perfect solution. If a person’s skill is law, that person does not have to offer only law as their services to earn ‘time credits’. If the unemployed lawyer can paint, offer taxi services, teach private lessons, or is a capable gardener, then he/she can also offer these services.


Once ‘time credits’ are in the time bank, the lawyer by trade can now request services from other people within the time bank community. It could be that food may be an expense, so why not hire an expert in becoming self sufficient when it comes to foods such as vegetables and fruits. Maybe the car needs maintenance, so the services of a mechanic could be available on the time bank.


Some benefits include:

  • Keeping unemployed people busy

  • Having a sense importance

  • Adding meaning to life

  • Earn and trade time credits


Part Time Work Couple with Time Banking


If employment is difficult to find, then a part-time job for cash remuneration coupled with time banking activities may be the solution. While looking in the job market for a job that pays a full-time salary, unemployed people can mix their part-time work and time banking activities with good time management.


An example of one employed individual that worked part time is Bob, who is an accountant by trade. Bob lost his job due to COVID-19. He had to sell his car to have a surplus of cash to pay his mortgage. He also has a part-time job working in a local restaurant. As part of his part-time payment plan, he gets free lunch reducing one food expense. He also has no petrol bills or car insurance costs as he cycles everywhere.


Meanwhile, Bob works 2 hours a day on a landscape gardening project earning ‘2 hours of time credits’ every day. He uses time credits to have his house fixed up such as electrical work, plumbing, and other skilled jobs he cannot perform just in case he needs to sell. The rest of his ‘time credits’, he uses for private tuition after school for his daughter. Meanwhile, Bob is still on the lookout for a full-time job.


For now, with his part-time job, time banking activities, and his job hunting, Bob is not feeling depressed or pressured. He has a sense of meaning because he has a schedule, and his daughter is still getting a valuable education. Also, with the work he does, he may not have plenty of surplus cash or an opportunity to save at this time, but he can still pay his mortgage and bills while he has his car money as a backup.


Bob’s situation is not ideal, but it helps him get by while he is unemployed, and without the time banking community, he would not have the option to earn time credits landscape gardening as he is not a landscaper by trade.


Time banking

  • can help people offset monetary costs in exchange for time

  • can help people spend cash on necessities

  • earn time credits for important extras in life such as education for our children

Join a Time Banking Community Via the Nomos App


If you are interested in joining a time bank community and earning time credits, then join our newsletter and/or download and sign into the Nomos app. You will open up a new world of opportunities not only for time banking credits but also these communities will have plenty of opportunities to volunteer your time for free within the community.


Time bank communities often organise charity events, work together as community to help those in need, and meet up regularly either to plan an event, charity, or community project, or to simply socialize. You will also gain all the benefits of volunteering mentioned in this blog whether you are employed, a part-time worker, or unemployed.


The app allows you to:

  • Find time banking communities in your area

  • Connect with a large local community of like minded people

  • You can network using app

  • Earn time credit that you can then spend

  • Advertise your skill set

  • Find people to help you with your own projects

  • Volunteer for community projects and charity events



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