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People volunteer for many different reasons, but one thing that unites them all, is that they find it challenging, rewarding and varied. Whether you're passionate about helping less fortunate people, improving the environment, or caring for animals, volunteering is an excellent way to make a positive impact on others, the local community and the world.
In this blog post, we'll explore some of the reasons why it is good to do voluntary work.
It’s great for your CV and future job prospects
In your CV you showcase your skills, experience and achievements from your paid employment, volunteering allows you to demonstrate that you have also used these skills and competencies to support charities and indicates that you are community-minded, conscientious and have interest in developing yourself too.
Volunteering can help you develop valuable skills that can benefit you both personally and professionally. You may have the opportunity to develop leadership, communication, teamwork, and problem-solving skills, all of which are highly valued by employers.
Volunteering can also help you gain experience in a particular field, which can be useful for future career opportunities.
Helps define and identify career goals and directions
Volunteering will expose you to information that you may not otherwise have had access to and might give insight into what you are looking for regarding your own career. For example, you may have always wondered what it would be like to work in a smaller organisation where your role may be more varied or in a role that was more operational than service lead. Gaining first-hand experience through volunteering can be very valuable in determining your next career move.
Volunteering allows you to meet new people who share your interests and values. This can be an excellent way to build your social network, make new friends, and even find new career opportunities. You may also have the opportunity to work with people from diverse backgrounds, which can help broaden your perspective and increase your cultural awareness.
Volunteering is an easy and natural way to meet new people and build your network. Social interaction improves mental and physical health, which can include better brain function and lower risk for depression and anxiety.
Improves confidence & self-awareness
Many volunteers report that they develop confidence and feelings of self-worth, through their volunteering commitments. For example, the advantages of volunteering for teenagers and young adults with eating disorders, social anxiety, and depression, could be life-changing.
Volunteering can be an excellent way to discover new interests, strengths, and values. You may find that you're passionate about a cause that you never considered before, or that you have skills and talents that you didn't know existed.
Improves interview performance
An expanded network coupled with new skills and increased confidence, will help you to present yourself in a positive way and can only make you feel more competent and comfortable when interviewing for a new role.
Volunteering gives you a few different ‘strings to your bow’ and will enhance your ability to give rich and evidence-based answers in an interview.
Improves mental health and wellbeing
Volunteering has been shown to have numerous benefits for mental health, including reducing stress, improving mood, and boosting self-esteem. When you volunteer, you're focusing on something positive and meaningful, which can help you feel a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Volunteering can also provide a break from the stressors of everyday life and help you gain perspective on your own problems and challenges. Building resilience through volunteering helps to combat and manage stress more effectively.
Volunteering can create change on a global scale and one person’s efforts can change the life of someone else’s which is extremely powerful and rewarding. Many volunteering opportunities involve working with others and engaging in activities that people enjoy, such as sports, art, or music. When you're having fun while volunteering, you're more likely to stick with it, make a long-term commitment and reap all the benefits we have just shared!
In conclusion, volunteering is an excellent way to make a positive impact on others and the world, while also benefiting yourself. Whether you're looking to gain experience, develop new skills, improve your wellbeing, meet new people, or just have fun, there's no shortage of reasons why it's good to do voluntary work.
Why not give it a try and see what benefits volunteering can bring to your life?
Here are some resources to kick-start your volunteering: