Interested in giving up some of your time and construction and engineering skills to help those in need? Charitable work can be a very fulfilling way of giving back to the community and enhancing your work/life balance as well as giving opportunities for you to enhance and expand your skillset.

Long or short term volunteering can provide leadership and learning opportunities

For example, the housing charity Habitat for Humanity works with communities around the world to help them fight poverty through building safe, sustainable homes. This might involve working in areas hit by natural disasters to help rebuild, or going to countries such as Lesotho to help populations in cities build proper homes and relocate from suburban slums.

Volunteering opportunities range from a couple of weeks to longer-term projects, so there is a space for all, depending on whether a short stint appeals or if you would rather take a sabbatical from work for a few months.

Longer-term openings – generally six to twelve months - would be more likely to require specialist construction or engineering knowledge, and could provide opportunities for volunteers to step up into leadership (such site foreman) or mentoring roles.



Volunteer experience can enhance a CV too

Taking time out of a busy full-time career to volunteer can have positive effects for all concerned. It gives you another perspective on life, widens your horizons and can also boost a CV, as well as helping those most in need.

Experienced construction and engineering employees might have the chance, for example, to take the initiative and help lead a team in conjunction with local experts, as many other volunteers may have little relevant experience. Volunteer roles tend to be full time for the period you are on the ground, though there are normally opportunities to soak up a little local culture. Of course, you might prefer to volunteer in the UK, and that is also perfectly possible; Habitat for Humanity, for example, has projects in London and Banbury at present.

Any length of volunteering should be noted on your CV; it’s likely that the experience will have boosted a number of qualities and transferable skills that employers are looking for, such as teamwork, showing initiative, new practical skills as well as leadership and negotiation skills. The mere fact you showed enough get up and go to take part will indicate to many employers that you would be a good person to have on the team!