Why ICAS members should consider taking on a voluntary role
From expanding your network and areas of expertise, to helping shape the CA profession and keeping active post-retirement, the benefits of volunteering are valuable and varied.
Harness the feelgood factor
Obviously, volunteering won’t incur financial rewards, but the gains derived can be equally valuable in other ways. There’s a distinct feelgood factor to be had from assisting with a charitable organisation or mentoring a disadvantaged school-pupil, knowing that your hard-won skills and expertise are actively aiding a good cause and giving back to wider society. In fact, those positive sentiments are often the main reason our members decide to volunteer their services, and just another way in which you can be proud to be a CA.
Expand your network
The wealth of volunteering opportunities available to you as an ICAS member in turn present a wealth of opportunities to expand your networks. Whether it’s through volunteering with a professional committee, helping to run a charity, or mentoring a youngster, you’ll meet new and interesting people from a variety of backgrounds, areas of expertise and walks of life. Some may be specialists in their fields with long-established contacts, others young CAs in the process of building their own connections, allowing your network to branch out in directions you might not previously have considered.
Develop your expertise
Volunteering is a great way to develop your expertise and employ it in new areas without having to change jobs. The challenges and experiences inherent to getting involved with organisations and sectors beyond the sphere of your regular day-to-day business will serve to broaden and bolster your overall base of expertise. And volunteering as a mentor is about more than instructing people to work the way you do; seeing obstacles through your mentee’s eyes can open you up to new ways of thinking and working.
Shape and understand the CA profession
Mentoring a student or young CA can be a great means of passing your professional standards, time-learnt methods and expertise on to young members who are coming up through the ranks. And volunteering for a role on one of the ICAS boards, committees and panels, which are responsible for everything from remuneration to regulation, allows you to be actively involved in a broad range of matters that affect the CA profession. Not only will you be able to influence future policy, you’ll also secure a better understanding of the different perspectives of your fellow members.
Remain active post-retirement
Just because you decide to slow down towards the end of your career doesn’t necessarily mean you want to grind to a complete professional halt. Volunteering can be a means for ICAS members who are retired to keep their professional skills active and up to date without requiring them to make a permanent commitment. Conversely, a part-time or flexible volunteering arrangement can be used as a stepping-stone to ease you out of full-time employment and into full-time retirement.
Ease a return to work
Getting back in the professional groove after a career break of any length can often be a daunting prospect. Assisting with the running of a charitable or non-profit organisation can be a manageable way to gently break the ice and dip your toes back into the CA waters. You’ll be able to boost your confidence and refresh your CV and experience before jumping back into the ways of full-time working.