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If you’re like us, you have given volunteer work a good, long thought. You have considered the volunteering options available to you in near and remote places. Also, you have mapped out the monetary expenses, the duration of the volunteering program you will engage in, the benefits of volunteering, plane tickets and so on and so forth.
So much of the experience can get lost in translation. If you start thinking about it only in logistic terms, then you may end up not knowing why you are doing it! So, that's the reason of why we write this post for you.
Below, you’ll find 12 benefits of volunteering. Also, you will find a bullet list of several the reasons why engaging in volunteer work is one of the most rewarding, fulfilling and formative experiences a person of any age can have.
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In volunteer work, it often happens that you start by doing something you know you are very good at and eventually branch out, frequently into things you never thought you could do. There are people who are very good at, say, cooking, and so they enroll as a cook for their local soup kitchen. After a while, they might help in promoting their program on radio stations, news outlets and other forms of public speaking. One of the prime benefits of volunteering is that it broadens your skill set by making you exit your comfort zone. It introduces you to things that can both enhance your career and become a passion for you.
Volunteering equips you with valuable professional skills, such as time management and strategic planning. According to Reed.co.uk, one of the benefits of volunteering is that exposes you to core workplace activities, such as: “communication, line management, teamwork and using your initiative”. This is especially helpful when looking for a job. A survey by TimeBank in the UK found that 73% of employers at the time of the study would recruit a candidate with volunteer experience over one without.
If you are contemplating a career change, whether at work or university, volunteering is an excellent way to explore other fields you may be interested in. Not only provide you with valuable experiences that can make you more competitive in your new work field. Also, gives you good insight on what working in it will be like. Among the benefits of volunteering is that you can try a plethora of new things without it necessarily tainting your financial stability or academic performance.
Your volunteer work is a reflection of who you are as an individual. And helps your employer or academic institution know more about your interests, commitment and dedication. As put by the World Volunteer Web, “people pay attention to your life outside the environment in which they have direct contact with you”. Let your actions speak for you!
As said by the World Volunteer Web, no person is an island. We are always in contact with other people, there are issues that affect us all, there are knowledge to be shared between groups of people and volunteering makes you aware of that. It gives you a scope of the reality other people are living. People depend on others for growth and survival. One of the benefits of volunteering is that it helps you overcome the sense of detachment that reigns in today’s society.
Volunteering helps you connect with loads of different people in a way not many extra-curricular activities can. You will be in constant contact with both the recipients of your volunteer efforts and your fellow volunteers. People from all walks of life and with different backgrounds, personalities and interests. This will expand your social network. Additionally, the development of your interpersonal skills is one of the most easily identifiable benefits of volunteering, and it exposes you to such a rich variety of people. Learning about them and their stories is like diving into a pool of knowledge and growth!
Other of the benefits of volunteering is that it provides a platform for you and your friends to engage in shared activities, which is the best way to strengthen any kind of relationship. If you are both passionate about a cause, working together to reach a common goal will do wonders for you. It will help you create memorable moments as you both grow and learn together.
According to HelpGuide.org, volunteering can boost your self-confidence, self-esteem and life satisfaction. One of the benefits of volunteering is that it gives you a very close look on how your actions are impacting those around you. Moreover, being part of a volunteer program can make you feel proud and give you a sense of identity. These three factors make you more likely to have a positive outlook on your life and goals.
Volunteering can fill voids in people. Helping others may help you overcome personal struggles and give your life new meaning and a sense of purpose. It takes your mind off of your worries and the new experiences and people you meet may even make you arrive at new solutions for them. Furthermore, volunteering keeps you mentally stimulated and as said by Wharton professor Cassie Mogilner, it makes you feel like you have more time.
Volunteer work can be physically demanding, especially if you’re doing a hands-on job. Volunteering at environmental projects, as well as those that help build homes and other similarly active programs is beneficial for you at any age. Volunteers have a lower mortality rate than their non-volunteering peers and are less likely to develop chronic pain or heart disease.
As mentioned above, stepping out of your comfort zone is among the benefits of volunteering. This helps you achieve personal goals and set new ones and be in a constant state of self-improvement. Volunteering also makes you more self-aware.
Volunteering can be physically, mentally and emotionally demanding. When you become a volunteer you are not only giving your time, but your mind, your heart and your soul. It is truly a life-changing experience that will make a difference in you and those surrounding you. Whether they be direct recipients of your efforts or your loved ones. But not all is work and serious moods. Regardless if it is to advance your career, because you are passionate about a certain cause or both. We truly believe that you will have a great time volunteering. So, at the end of your experience, you will have broadened your horizons.
Photo Credit: Flickr
One of the most relevant benefits of volunteering is that it allows you to make a difference in yourself and your environment. The moment you decide to become a volunteer, you are committing yourself to becoming an agent of change. You have the power to change your life and the life of others and you are exercising it.
For further encouragement, check this post on 11 reasons to become an activist today. Also, if you want to get first-hand experience on the benefits of volunteering, please check out our Fighting Poverty Program.
To end this post, we invite you to share it with all your friends. Also, if you have any questions, please leave a comment, in the comment section below.