We know that your volunteer motives are always well-intentioned.
Giving your time to help the community is beneficial in more ways than we can count, but have you ever thought about volunteering could benefit you personally as an individual?
Bold thought, right? Well, the answer is that volunteering can do a lot for you - probably more than you think.
Keep reading as we take a look a closer look at the other side of volunteer work and how the benefits go both ways.
"The best way to find yourself is to lose yourself in the service of others." — Mahatma Gandhi
Volunteering is Good For Your Health
Research has shown that volunteering is actually quite beneficial for your health. The act of focusing on other people rather than yourself can actually interrupt patterns that cause stress in your body, making you more relaxed.
Moods like joy and optimism are two of many that you’ll notice while volunteering, and these positive emotions are great for your immune system.
According to Create the Good, volunteering can even decrease risk of depression, increase self-confidence and increase brain function as you use both your mind and body to complete tasks. Some health experts even believe that doctors should recommend volunteering alongside diet and exercise!
Volunteering Allows You to Gain Valuable Skills and Grow Your Resume
Volunteering gives you the chance to learn and practice a number of different, valuable lifelong skills.
Think of the different types of transferable skills you would use in a job setting:
- Time Management
The list goes on, and the tasks you are expected to complete as a volunteer can help you grow and nurture all of these skills and more. Any task that you might be assigned, whether it’s helping out at the food bank or managing a small team building new houses, involves more than one transferable skill that you can add to your resume and talk about in your next job interview.
Employers like seeing a person who has a diverse skill set, and growing that experience and knowledge through volunteer work is doable. Forbes has found, at a specific company called MovingWorlds, that skills development in technical and leadership-related areas is the primary reason corporations invest in international skills-based volunteering programs.
Volunteering Gives You the Opportunity to Network
What better way to meet leaders, board members, employers and other people in your community than by volunteering? Exposing yourself to new people allows you to grow your network, both personally and professionally. The people that you work with can act as references for future jobs, and once you grow a relationship with them they can become important contacts for future opportunities.
During your time volunteering you might meet and grow a professional relationship with an accountant or a marketing professional. Who knows when you might need one of those people in your life?
Volunteering Enables You to Find Yourself
The list of volunteer opportunities within your community is most likely vast and varied. There are many different organizations and initiatives that need volunteers for many different tasks: social media marketing, planning events, leading a team, organizing food and clothes at a shelter - the list is endless.
Testing out different work positions and opportunities can actually help you figure out your passion if you haven’t already. Once you’ve worked a few distinct volunteer positions, you will be more well-informed about what might be a good career move depending on what you learned and what you discovered you enjoyed doing.
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