Be more: how to go from volunteer to employee



Volunteering is often an opportunity for people to give back. It’s perfectly natural to want to do your best to make a difference!  But, what happens when your foot is in the back door, and you find yourself working for an organisation that truly resonates with your calling? How can you turn this voluntary experience into a full-time job?

Now that you know where you want to work, here are a few ways that you can turn it into a permanent role.

  1. Show that you’re committed

Organisations recognize consistency. They want people who are passionate about their cause and willing to go beyond what is necessarily asked of them. Failing to show up, poor communication and tardiness will not impress them!

Even as a volunteer, you should be courteous and give your team leader notice if you are unable to stick to the original schedule. If you really want to be in that office every day, treat it like it is your full-time job! Be 15 minutes early, dress to impress, deliver quality work and get to know the people who make things happen.

  1. Focus on building relationships

Volunteering is more than an opportunity to develop your skills. This is also your chance to meet new people, interact with current employees and begin developing sound relationships. Go beyond the people that you’re volunteering with and get to know the teams that you would like to be a part of! If you’re interested in Campaigning or Marketing, for example, ask the department director if you can pick their brain. Don’t assume that people won’t make time to speak to you because you’re volunteering – if anything, you will receive a very warm welcome.


  • Advice Line Adviser - Public Concern at Work (£21,000 and pension scheme membership, Southwark)

    Public Concern at Work


    £21,000 and pension scheme membership

    View job Save job
    Advice Line Adviser - Public Concern at Work (£21,000 and pension scheme membership, Southwark)
  • Fundraising Officer - Student Christian Movement (£22-24,000, Birmingham)

    Student Christian Movement



    View job Save job
    Fundraising Officer - Student Christian Movement (£22-24,000, Birmingham)
  • Hub Fund Programme Manager - Indigo (c. £45 – 50,000 (FTE) pro rated for 14 hours per week plus benefits, Westminster)



    c. £45 – 50,000 (FTE) pro rated for 14 hours per week plus benefits

    View job Save job
    Hub Fund Programme Manager - Indigo (c. £45 – 50,000 (FTE) pro rated for 14 hours per week plus benefits, Westminster)
  • Senior Development Manager - Mothers Union (Up to £40,000 pa, Westminster)

    Mothers Union


    Up to £40,000 pa

    View job Save job
    Senior Development Manager - Mothers Union (Up to £40,000 pa, Westminster)
  • Finance Officer - Lyric Hammersmith (£23,000 - £25,000 (Dependent on experience), Hammersmith and Fulham)

    Lyric Hammersmith

    Hammersmith and Fulham

    £23,000 - £25,000 (Dependent on experience)

    View job Save job
    Finance Officer - Lyric Hammersmith (£23,000 - £25,000 (Dependent on experience), Hammersmith and Fulham)

Relationships are the foundation of charities and not-for-profit organisations. If you can get to know the right people and demonstrate your worth, you will be thought of when a vacancy arises.

Make the most of any face-to-face interaction! But most importantly, give them a reason to remember you.

  1. Understand the organization, it’s cause & culture

It goes without saying that charities and not-for-profits want people who understand their mission. There will always be numerous organisations that dedicate their time to the same cause, so you have to demonstrate why you want to be a member of this particular team.

Do some research in your free time and get to grips with exactly what they are trying to achieve, talk to senior colleagues that understand the direction that the organisation is heading in and stay in tune with the latest industry news. Knowledge is power – so keep topping yours up.

  1. Demonstrate what you can deliver

Volunteering already demonstrates a level of commitment and personal interest. However, you also have a number of transferable skills that can be put to great use! This can show your ability to adapt to challenging situations and willingness to help the organization flourish.

If you have strong writing skills, for example, offer to write a blog post about your experience as a volunteer. Good with numbers? Let them know that you’re happy to help with any tricky administrative duties too.

Make a point of asking for more work to do! Use your skills to show how diverse you really are.

  1. Be patient

If you’ve genuinely given it your all, don’t feel downhearted if a vacancy doesn’t arise straight away. Your time has been well spent – you’ve left them with the best impression of who you are and what you can bring to the table, as well as gained some valuable experience.

Do your best to stay in touch with a key member of the team so that, when the right position becomes available, you’re the first person they call.

If you’re looking for some inspiration…

Take a look at Keisha’s story! She found a volunteering opportunity whilst searching CharityJob and, within a year, this turned into a full-time job. This could happen to you too!

Are you still trying to find a role that really captivates you? Take a look at all of the opportunities that CharityJob has to offer here.

About Jade Phillips

Brand & Communications Lead at CharityJob. A true book worm and social media geek, you'll find me living in pockets of online communities. Unattended snacks might go missing if left around me...

Read more articles

Continue the conversation on charityconnect

Meet others
a difference

Connect with people in the charity sector
to share ideas and discover opportunities.

Join us

Right now on Charity Connect

  • Richard Sved

    Richard Sved


    3rd Sector Mission Control

    Five charity interview tips

    “ My very first interview for a paid job in the charity sector was 21 years ago. My first successful charity job interview was around 6 months later. And since then... ”
  • Lizzi Hollis

    Lizzi Hollis

    Corporate Account Manager

    Independent Age

    5 things I learnt from ‘Equality in the Workplace’

    “ This month Fundraising magazine has published its first ever Equality in The Workplace report and as CharityConnect’s resident feminist writer I want to share with you 5 things I learnt from it... ”
  • Meredith Niles

    Meredith Niles

    Fundraising Director

    Marie Currie

    Time to come off the list?

    “ It's that time of year when each trip to the postbox reveals a fresh pile of warm wishes from friends and family. I am not especially disciplined about getting... ”
  • Clare Lucas

    Clare Lucas

    Activism Manager


    Time to rally, not to wallow

    “ So, I woke up this morning and for a moment I had forgotten that it was inauguration day; the day that Donald Trump would become the 45th President of the United States. Then I remembered... ”
  • Dawn Newton

    Dawn Newton


    Morello Marketing

    5 Ways Charities Can Benefit from Collaboration

    “ When organisations with a common aim work together, they can cut costs, improve outcomes and reduce duplication... ”

Join our Newsletter

Get the latest career tips sent directly to your inbox by subscribing to our newsletter!