Introducing the voluntary sector
Introducing the voluntary sector

Start this free course now. Just create an account and sign in. Enrol and complete the course for a free statement of participation or digital badge if available.

Free course

Introducing the voluntary sector

2 Your next steps

Man standing on a rock looking through a telescope.
Figure 2 Steps to take next

Having reviewed what you’ve learned about the voluntary sector and identified areas you’d like to learn more about, now is the time to clarify your thoughts before deciding on your next steps. If you did this course just for personal interest, you may not have any ‘next steps’ – you may be happy with your current situation and not wish to do any further learning or make any changes. If, however, you would like to do further work, volunteering or learning about the voluntary sector then the next activity will help you work through some decisions.

Activity 3 Clarifying your thoughts

Timing: Allow approximately 20 minutes

Read through the list of questions below and make some notes. The questions are divided into topics related to learning, working and volunteering. They are designed to prompt your thinking but do not feel constrained by them.

There is quite a lot to think about here, so you might want to write detailed notes and reflect on them before moving on to the next stage in your decision making.

Learning

  • Did you enjoy learning online? What were the best aspects and what did you find challenging?
  • Did you enjoy learning about the voluntary sector?
  • Which topics did you want to learn more about (revisit Activity 1 if necessary)?
  • Were there topics you wanted to know more about that were not covered by this course? What were they?
  • Do you want to do another course? If so, which subject area?
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Working

  • If you are already working, do you want to stay in your current role?
  • If you are already working, what do you like best and what do you like least about your role?
  • If you want to stay in your current role, what would improve it?
  • What do you need to do in order to get a promotion (if that is what you are looking for)?
  • Do you want a new or different job? If so, what?
  • What skills or knowledge do you need to acquire?
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Volunteering

  • If you are already volunteering, do you want to stay in your current role?
  • If you are already volunteering, what do you like best and what do you like least about your role?
  • If you want to stay in your current volunteering role, what would improve it?
  • Do you want a new or different volunteering role? If so, what?
  • What skills or knowledge do you need to acquire?
To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Comment

Reflecting on these questions should have helped you clarify what you want to change or how you want to progress. Alternatively, you might find that you now realise that you are happy with your current situation and do not wish to do any further learning or make any changes.

However, if you would like to do further work, volunteering or learning about the voluntary sector then the next activity will help you make some decisions.

Activity 4 Making a decision about your next steps

Timing: Allow approximately 10 minutes

Read through your notes again and express them as statements of action, such as:

‘I would like to apply for a volunteering role.’

or

‘I want to get paid work in the voluntary sector.’

To use this interactive functionality a free OU account is required. Sign in or register.
Interactive feature not available in single page view (see it in standard view).

Comment

You might have a lot of ideas about what to do next – which might seem stressful! Just think about one at a time. Also be realistic about what time you have available to plan and implement any changes – there is no need to rush in. Your plans will probably be a mix of short-term and long-term goals. You may also need to do further research if you are interested in more study or looking for a new job or volunteering role. The next sections will help you with planning some of these steps.

Having reviewed what you have done over the past few weeks, and taken a bit of time to clarify your ideas, you are now in a good position to think about how to achieve what you want to do next.

In the next section, you will look at how to get your first, or a different, volunteering role. Even if you are certain you do not wish to volunteer or change an existing role, you will still find this section useful.

VOLB_1

Take your learning further

Making the decision to study can be a big step, which is why you'll want a trusted University. The Open University has 50 years’ experience delivering flexible learning and 170,000 students are studying with us right now. Take a look at all Open University courses.

If you are new to University-level study, we offer two introductory routes to our qualifications. You could either choose to start with an Access module, or a module which allows you to count your previous learning towards an Open University qualification. Read our guide on Where to take your learning next for more information.

Not ready for formal University study? Then browse over 1000 free courses on OpenLearn and sign up to our newsletter to hear about new free courses as they are released.

Every year, thousands of students decide to study with The Open University. With over 120 qualifications, we’ve got the right course for you.

Request an Open University prospectus371