Volunteering is a great hobby. Whether you are able to volunteer full-time or only part-time, there are many ways to use your skills and time to help others. Volunteering can be as simple as donating money or writing letters of thanks. There are also opportunities available for those who want to take on more intensive tasks like teaching English in developing nations, working with the elderly, counseling at risk teens or counseling at-risk children. Find out where you can volunteer near you!
Benefits of Volunteer
There are many benefits to volunteering. Volunteering offers more than just an opportunity to give back; there are many personal benefits to taking time out of your schedule to volunteer.
Make new friends
Many people who volunteer with others report feeling fulfilled by all the new friendships they have made in their communities. Meetings and activities for volunteers often occur regularly, so you’ll get to know the same people and cultivate friendships.
Receive gratitude from others
One of the most rewarding aspects of volunteering is receiving notes or letters from those whom you have helped. Many volunteers report getting a boost in self-confidence when they read these expressions of appreciation and recognition for their efforts.
Acquire new skills
If you volunteer for a long enough period of time, it’s likely that you will learn or pick up some new talents or skills along the way. Volunteering can teach you something new like how to paint houses, counsel troubled teens, ride with the elderly, work with children and more! This also helps improve your resume if you wish to seek out future employment opportunities; employers often value experience gained through volunteering on resumes.
Gain valuable work experience
Volunteering is a great way to gain some valuable experience in the workplace, even if you can only volunteer on weekends or evenings. You may learn how to manage your time more efficiently, become exposed to new ideas and concepts, build leadership skills and make connections with professionals in the community. These are all of great value when it comes to finding jobs or preparing for interviews!
Get back into the workforce
Many of today’s employers understand that people need to take time off work sometimes; they may even be willing to “rehire” previous employees after they have taken some time away from their job (e.g. maternity leave). Volunteering can be a great way to show your employer that you still have what it takes to be a valuable asset to the company; perhaps they will rehire you or provide support for your volunteer work outside of work.
Receive funding and scholarships
Volunteering is a great way to gain access to funding opportunities and scholarships for future investment in your education. Many organizations offer scholarships, grants and other forms of financial aid to those who are willing to volunteer. This can help free up cash for tuition, books, housing expenses and more!
Improved employment prospects
Many employers prefer applicants with volunteer experience on their resumes; it shows that you have some valuable skills that can be used in a professional setting. Volunteering is also an excellent way to explore potential career interests, especially if you cannot afford to invest money into further education or training. Volunteering can grant access into graduate programs, specialized apprenticeships and other forms of education.
Volunteering is a great way to get involved with your community and improve local relationships while opening yourself up to new opportunities to make friends. Many people find that volunteering can be very personally rewarding; it’s also pretty fun!
Volunteering often inspires personal growth, especially when you’re working hands-on with projects or other people. Volunteering has been shown to improve confidence levels, problem solving skills and overall mental health.
How to Get Started with Volunteering?
If you are interested in starting your own journey towards volunteering, there are many ways to get started.
Make an appointment with a local charity or non-profit organization
If you are looking for volunteer opportunities in your area, the first place to start would be with local charities and non-profit organizations. Ask them if they have any opportunities available, what requirements they may have (e.g. credentials) and how much time commitment is involved in their volunteering programs. Many of these organizations rely on volunteers!
There are many websites out there that can help match businesses with community members who are interested in volunteering; some are even open to high schoolers or college students! Look around online or give us a call to find out where you can get started.
Make a list of goals and specific things you would like to accomplish through volunteer work. For example, you may want to learn how to volunteer overseas or spend more time with the elderly. Come up with a list of goals and start working towards them!
Seek out career exploration opportunities
When you are volunteering at different places, ask the people around you if they have any suggestions for future employment opportunities.
Find out what kind of skills are necessary for these jobs, what your responsibilities would be and where these organizations are located.
If you end up doing something that interests you, they may even offer to write reference letters or referrals!
Keep track of all your hours spent volunteering
This will help ensure that your efforts are recognized by potential employers later on down the road. You can keep track of this information in an Excel spreadsheet or notebook.
Time management is an important skill to have as a student. Make sure to prioritize your daily tasks and see which ones you can complete at a faster pace.
Don’t forget that studying is also a task that needs to be completed! Your grades will suffer if you neglect your coursework for too long.
Keep a positive attitude and enthusiasm!
Volunteering is a great way to exercise your skills, make new friends and receive new opportunities for future success. Be enthusiastic about the work you do and view every experience as an opportunity to learn from others in the community. Your positive attitude will shine through in all of your work!
Volunteering is a great hobby whether you are able to volunteer full-time or only part-time. There are many personal benefits – including making new friends – as well as job related benefits – such as gaining valuable work experience or receiving funding/scholarships. Volunteering has many great benefits, so why not try it out today!