The best way to build and foster a sense of involvement is by engaging with your community.
What’s the best way to engage with your community? Volunteer work, of course! We all know that volunteering is a good thing to do, but do we really know why? It may seem like a challenge to try to fit one more thing into your busy life, but the right match can help you reduce stress, find friends, reach out to the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career!
Once you realize that all that can be accomplished simply by volunteering your time to something you love, it will quickly become part of your life instead of another thing to check off a list of things to do. Still unconvinced? Here are 5 ways that volunteering can help you, both personally and in your career:
Develop New Skills and Learn New Ideas
Volunteering gives you a chance to further your skills in some areas and learn new ones in others. There could be an opportunity out there where you get to better your interpersonal communication skills while you learn more about project management, sales, or countless other areas.
Meet New People, Make New Connections
“Your network is all the people you know and all the people they know.” So, of course, it makes sense for you to volunteer your time to something you’re passionate about, you’ll meet others who are passionate about the same things! It’s a wise idea to keep a list of contacts you make while volunteering. This may include staff, clients, other volunteers, other suppliers, etc. You never know who might be able to help you in the future and how.
Dabble in Unknown Territory
Volunteering is a great way to explore other careers and fields that you’re interested in, but unsure about. You get to know the people, challenges, and rewards involved in a certain sector, you get a better understanding of the roles in the business and of the jobs available. If you decide to turn your volunteer work into your new career, your volunteer experience on your resume will certainly turn you into a competitive candidate.
Show Employers You’re Willing to Go the Extra Mile
Companies have an increasingly strong social responsibility core these days. Having volunteer work on a resume not only shows your charitable side, but it also shows employers that you can manage your time and make a commitment outside of work. Real life responsibility and accountability go a long way on a resume and proves that you will be a good cultural fit for most work environments.
Get That Extra Spring in Your Step
Giving back to your community in a meaningful way does a lot for you and your well-being as an individual. It can be an energizing boost to your self-worth and confidence. “By helping others, you’ll get that fulfilling ‘I made the world a little better’ feeling in return,” says Amy Neumann. Volunteering can also help you get to know yourself by helping you determine your skills, accomplishments, interests, and values. All of these things make up the foundation of career success.
Volunteering is a win-win sort of deal. You get to help yourself by helping others, what more could you ask for? When you volunteer in a role that is a good match for you, everyone comes out better for it in the end, including your professional resume.