Volunteering has the power to positively impact the community and provide you with life-changing benefits at the same time. Here are 4 ways that volunteerism can provide you with value.
For most people who volunteer, the motivation is to make a difference and give something back to society. And while these are genuinely worthy and important reasons, it’s also true that volunteering has benefits for the volunteer as well as their community. Here are four ways that volunteering your time for others can enrich your own life too.
Further Your Career
If you take up volunteering while you’re still of working age, you can expect your career prospects to gain a boost. When a recruiter sees a volunteering entry on your resume, they can be confident that you have well-rounded experience and the adaptability that’s so valuable in any workplace. A Volunteering in America study, published by AmeriCorps, found that volunteering gives job prospects a 27% advantage over non-volunteers.
The many new skills you learn through volunteering can be transferable to your working life, even if they’re in a completely different area. And you may even pick up useful qualifications such as a first aid certification, which always boost your CV’s strength.
Volunteering can also further your career by introducing you to a variety of new contacts, making new connections, and building up your professional network.
All of these benefits make volunteering an excellent idea in a period of temporary unemployment, turning a resume negative into a strong positive.
Personal Development and Self Improvement
As well as improving your career prospects, increasing your breadth of experience will inevitably bring personal development. Most volunteers meet people from unfamiliar backgrounds and experience situations they’ve never encountered before. Not only will this widen your perspective on life, but it’ll enhance your flexibility, boost your self-confidence, and increase your sense of self-worth and value to society.
Improve Your Social Life
Meeting new people can also enrich your social life, as you’ll get the chance to build friendships with people you’d never have met without volunteering. If you are looking to make new friends, broadening your horizons through volunteering will provide exciting new perspectives as well as giving you something new to bring to your current social circles.
Improved Mental and Physical Health
Lastly, volunteering is a great way to stay active, which has strong benefits for both physical and mental health. In fact, according to a study, performed by the National Institutes of Health, volunteering resulted in an 8.54% increase in mental health. Spending time in a busy environment with like-minded people can be a powerful stress-buster, as it takes you away from any worries and problems in other parts of your life. This reduction in stress can feed through into better sleep, reduced risk of heart problems, and even a greater ability to shake off minor illnesses.
Of course, the greatest benefit of volunteering is the good it does for your community. But the extra personal positives brought by the act of generosity mean it’s an even more compelling way to use your spare time.
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