Benefits of volunteering
Volunteering is a great way to gain work experience, develop valuable connections and skills. Here are a few benefits of volunteer work:
- Volunteer to Gain Experience: Your volunteer work can prepare you for the demands of the working world. Through practical volunteer work, you can develop appropriate knowledge, attitude, and skills concerning the working world. Your volunteer work can demonstrate to those who may be in a position to recommend you to others or hire you for a paid position what kind of person you are (e.g. how you work with others, how you approach tasks, how you take initiative, how you manage your time). A candidate who has already proven they can succeed at the job is a much stronger candidate than an unknown.
- Volunteer to Develop Transferable Skills: Volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop transferable skills you can apply to any position you undertake. Interpersonal communication, time management, leadership, delegation, communication, leadership and problem-solving are a few transferable skills that you can develop through your volunteer work.
- Volunteer to Build your Network: Are you looking to make connections in a specific field? Are you interested in expanding your network? Volunteering gives you the opportunity to develop meaningful connections with professionals in your field of interest. Network with others to exchange information, ideas, contact info, and to build and maintain mutually beneficial connections. Volunteering can put you in contact with important individuals and groups of professionals who have a wealth of expertise. Professionals you meet who have similar career goals can serve as mentors providing career guidance. Connections made through volunteering can also act as references. Volunteering is a great way to connect with professionals to establish a community of supporters. It’s not just what you know but who you know.
- Volunteer to Develop Confidence: Volunteering is a great way to develop confidence. Practical work experience builds self-esteem which allows you to step out of your comfort zone. Your volunteer work allows you to develop and use different skills that lead to establishing a real sense of achievement.
- Volunteer to Explore your Interests and Passions: Volunteering is a great way to take those first steps to explore different career opportunities. Explore your interests by engaging with professionals in a variety of fields. Try out different types of volunteer work to better understand your interests, likes and dislikes. Observing firsthand professionals in your field of interest can help you determine whether this would be a field you might want to pursue further.
Additional Information on the Benefits of Volunteering
Article on UnitedWay Blog: 5 Ways College Grads Can Use Volunteer Experience to Get a Job
Article on Charity Village: Ten Professional Development Benefits of Volunteering
Article on themuse: 5 Career-Boosting Reasons You Should Volunteer (in Addition to the Fact That it Makes You a Good Person)
Article on Volunteer Match: 5 Ways Volunteering Boosts Career Development
What Volunteering Taught Me | Hajira Khan at TEDxKinnaird
Volunteering - the beneficial side effects | Eric Cooper | TEDxSanAntonio
How volunteerism can change your world | Joyce Bertram | TEDxVilnius
Volunteerism -- best platform for personal and professional development: Tuan Nguyen at TEDxUOttawa
Be Selfish. Volunteer! | Kevin White | TEDxColoradoSprings
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