What activity allows you to help yourself and other people at the same time? The answer is volunteering. Whether you're interested in finding a new career path, meeting new people, or getting in shape, volunteering can help.
Volunteering Improves Your Reputation
Volunteering is a simple way to improve your reputation and change what people think of you. When you volunteer, you give yourself and your time to help and benefit other people. In other words, you are being generous and giving with what you have. People who are generous and giving are generally more likable and more highly regarded than people who are greedy and selfish. So if you're looking to improve your reputation, give volunteering a shot.
You Get Good Work Experience
Volunteer work experience is just as valuable as any regular work experience. Although you're not getting paid to volunteer, you're still doing real work and gaining real work experience, which will help your career. And even if the volunteer opportunities you partake in are completely unrelated to your job, you will still work on many important skills that can be used anywhere in your career and life. These skills include communication skills, teamwork skills, and leadership skills.
Volunteering will also give your resume some variety and show your future employers you are well rounded and interested in more than just earning a paycheck. This can help separate you from the pack for a highly competitive job position.
There Isn't Any Long Term Commitment Required
Many volunteer opportunities are short term and don't require any long-term commitment from you. This gives you a lot of flexibility and can make it much easier if you've never volunteered before. Some volunteer opportunities last for only a day like charity races, fundraisers, and free holiday meals for the homeless. There are even some volunteer opportunities that require only an hour a week. However long you choose to volunteer is up to you, but it is important to know that you have a lot of choices and very little commitment.
If you've never volunteered before, start by volunteering for a one day event and see how it goes. Hopefully you'll learn a lot and have a good time, but if things don't work out, you can always try something else.
Volunteering Helps Overcome A Loss
If you've experienced a loss in your life, volunteering is a great way to make you feel whole again. When you focus on helping other people with their problems, you'll be less concerned about your own problems. Volunteering will keep you busy so you won't have time to dwell on the loss you experienced. It is healthy to mourn, but you eventually have to pick yourself up, move on, and live your life. Whether you've experienced a tough breakup, a death in the family, or any other personal loss, volunteering can help keep you distracted and get you back on your feet.
You Can Makes A Difference
When you volunteer, it helps make a difference in the community and world around you. Volunteering helps solve many societal, global, and environmental issues including homelessness, poverty, crime, hunger, climate change, and pollution. Wouldn't you rather spend a weekend saving the world instead of watching TV?
You Can Get Good Exercise
Have you ever started an exercise routine only to give up after a week or two? Did your exercise routine feel too boring and unrewarding? If you've answered yes to these two questions, volunteering can help. Many volunteer opportunities involve physical work such as building houses, cleaning hiking trails, and coaching youth sports. These types of volunteer opportunities will give your body a motivating, rewarding, and rigerous workout. Because other people are depending on your to be there, it will be harder for you to fizzle out and quit.
You Will Gain A New Perspective On Life
Volunteering will allow you to meet people you wouldn't normally encounter in your daily life. You may work with people who are homeless, physically disabled, mentally challenged, or abused. Getting to know people like this will make you more appreciative for the things you have and more compassionate for the less fortunate.
Volunteering Helps Grow Your Professional And Personal Network
Volunteering is a very social activity that allows you to interact with and meet many new people. You'll make new contacts and friends which helps your career and your personal life. These people can bring you new job leads, and give recommendations to your future employers. These people will also grow your circle of friends and dating prospects.
We've done our best to convince you to volunteer. It helps make a difference in your life and in the lives of others. It's completely free to you and is a much better way to spend a weekend than surfing the internet or watching TV all day. So get out there and find a volunteer opportunity that fits your interests and skillset and see how things goes. It takes only a free afternoon to start, and can benefit you for a lifetime.
Learn More About Career Advancement »