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To turn down offer of voluntary work

7 replies

MN123456 · 15/10/2022 12:58

I realise that voluntary work is just that, and I don’t have to do it, but I have been offered a role that needs filling.

I responded to an advertisement from a national charity for a particular role. It was very similar to previous paid work, which admittedly I left a few years ago, so would have probably needed some refresher training.

After not hearing for several weeks I was asked to discuss a different role.

I appreciate that everyone has a part to play and all roles should be regarded as of equal value.

The one I applied for was a quite specialised area and I have relevant experience, which I hoped would be useful.

The role I have been asked to consider is of a very general support role/reception style work.

Whilst the work is non specialist it does help to free up the time of more technically trained staff.

I have never really worked in similar support roles and I am not sure I will be any good at it.

There are some training sessions needed in operating
the computer systems, and due to these a commitment of regular sessions for a period of 6-12 months is requested.

It does seem that they desperately need people, but I didn’t just volunteer a day each week of my time; I applied for a specific role which I thought would be mutually beneficial.

I will have to rearrange other commitments to do the work, whichever role I have.
I am happy to do so, but there would be an element of inconvenience. I only mention this as I didn’t apply as I have spare time that I need to be occupied.

The initial role might be possible at some unspecified time in the future, although I wasn’t offered the option to wait for that.

OP posts:

Am I being unreasonable?

25 votes. Final results.

You are being unreasonable
You are NOT being unreasonable
midgetastic · 15/10/2022 13:01

They ask
You decline
No drama

ComtesseDeSpair · 15/10/2022 13:01

I’d assume they either have somebody they feel is more suited to the original role lined up for it, or have reviewed their priorities and concluded that filling the second more general role is more urgent. Either way, it’s fine to explain that you were applying specifically for the original role as felt it would be mutually beneficial and don’t have much experience or interest in the second role. They aren’t likely to make a big deal of it.

WorkingItOutAsIGo · 15/10/2022 13:02

Doesn’t sound like it suits you. Be brave and say no thanks. Women are bad at that!

lannistunut · 15/10/2022 13:05

It is voluntary. YANBU to decline and explain if any more opportunities in the specialised come up you would be happy to be contacted.

AlisonDonut · 15/10/2022 13:11

Well, it all depends

Sometimes being a volunteer can get you access to the decision makers, so that when you apply for paid work they know you and that you are capable of turning up on time and getting on with the job. You can use your coffee breaks to mooch about with the decision makers and talk about [whatever] will help them view you as a potential future employee.

But then again, they might not want to lose a volunteer and to be honest, a receptionist if needed really should be a paid role.

It is 50/50 as to whether this is likely to help you or not. If you feel it is taking the piss then let them know it's not the sort of volunteering you were thinking of. But I've got paid roles after volunteering before and it helped me on a complete relaunch and change in career direction. But I stuck to volunteering in the technical side, I'd never volunteer to be front of house.

MN123456 · 15/10/2022 15:22

Thank you for your input.

I have decided to decline, and ask to be considered for the initial role if the opportunity arises.
You make a good point which could be valuable advice for a younger person. In my case whilst I am still doing paid work I am gradually winding down towards retirement so am not looking for progression.

OP posts:
Valeriekat · 17/10/2022 08:36

They are being bloody cheeky !

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