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Posted02.12.16

From volunteer to employee: Read how Keisha has evolved

‘I heard about the receptionist volunteering opportunity with Evolve whilst searching on the CharityJob website. I knew of Evolve’s reputation helping the homeless in London and I was keen to volunteer with them. I knew that working in an office environment would be the first step towards developing skills for my career path.

I loved the friendly atmosphere in the head office. People were really helpful- and it’s what kept me coming back week after week. I enjoyed the new challenges and learning new skills. I spent a lot of time helping answer enquiries on the phone which built up my confidence a lot.
I used to be really shy and didn’t like talking to strangers, but in a receptionist role, you have to get used to it! I now feel a lot more confident in my communication skills. Volunteering with a homelessness charity like Evolve has really helped me to improve my IT skills. I have learned how to manage both tasks and my time in order to be more productive in the work environment. All of which will be invaluable to me in the future. Volunteering has also helped me to develop my social skills because I had to interact with customers and staff on a daily basis.
I had been volunteering with Evolve for ten months before I heard that a permanent position would be opening up as a receptionist at their head office.

The interview went really well. I felt relaxed during it because the people on the panel put me at ease. The experience I had whilst volunteering for Evolve proved very useful. It helped me with the IT skills test and also helped me to understand the ethos and the work that Evolve carries out as a homeless charity every day. This proved to be an advantage when applying for the role. When I heard that I got the job I was absolutely delighted! I knew this would truly be the start of my career.

Now that I am an employee with Evolve, I enjoy the different challenges of my role. No two days are ever the same and I like interacting with a diverse group of people that form the staff and customers of this charity. I appreciate the fact that there’s room for career progression within Evolve- I could train to be a Support Worker or apply to join the Finance department if I wanted to. It’s an organisation where there are a lot of possibilities.

Currently I’m studying to do my first accountancy exam (ACCA). I’d like to qualify as an accountant within the next four years or so. I’m also volunteering with Stop the Traffik. Without my current job at Evolve I would not be able to do this as having a wage means that I can support my family whilst developing skills both inside and outside of work to help me achieve my goals and dreams.
This is just the beginning for me!’

If you are interested in the volunteer opportunities that Evolve offers, then please visit our volunteering page. If you are considering a career in a homelessness charity, please visit our vacancies page to view our current job offers.

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