5 Benefits of Volunteering: For Your Personal and Professional Life


5 Benefits of Volunteering: For Your Personal and Professional Life

Posted August 13, 2014

Do you want to find more meaning in your life outside of the workplace? Not only does volunteering help you feel good about yourself, but it can also help advance your career. Don’t think you have enough time? Even the smallest acts of volunteering can help improve your work life and can make you happier while helping the community you live in.

Here are 5 ways volunteering is worth your time and how it can help you feel better about yourself and in your work life.

1. Gain a sense of self-accomplishment and motivation

Of course, volunteer work is doing good for the community around you. But, it can also make you feel good about yourself at the same time. When you help someone in need or fix a problem, it gives you a sense of accomplishment that can increase your self-confidence tremendously. Feeling this good about what you are accomplishing outside of work, will motivate you to do more and accomplish more at work.

2. Improve your mental health

Volunteering and helping others will make you a happier person in general. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service – getting outside of your cubicle for a couple hours and doing something you love is great for your mental health. If you are feeling down about work – get outside and volunteer for an organization you have an interest in. Taking a break from work to get involved in your community will help you avoid depression and isolation – you will feel great about helping others.

3. Change your daily routine – you may discover a new passion!

Once you get out of that office, you’ll feel so much better! It is important to balance work with the other activities you love. Volunteering for an organization you have a genuine interest in is a relaxing escape from your busy work schedule. Changing up your schedule will leave you with “renewed creativity, motivation, and vision” according to Help Guide’s “Benefits of Volunteering.” This motivation and creativity can carry over into your professional life and inspire you to work hard and be creative at work!

4. Develop new skills and improve current ones

While motivating and inspiring you to work hard, volunteering can also help you develop your professional skills. Communication, project planning, and teamwork are all great skills to have in the professional world – and all three are used in volunteering! Doing volunteer work, you are in constant communication people, so it is easy to practice your social skills. Take all of your new and improved skills into your office to impress your boss and colleagues.

5. Make connections and friends

Volunteering is a great place to meet people with common interests – and who knows maybe you’ll meet a new professional connection. According to the most recent study by the Bureau of Labor Services, 27.7% of working people volunteered in 2013. With more than a quarter of the working population volunteering, you are likely to run into someone in your industry that can be a future contact. It is also a great opportunity to meet some new friends to relax and hang out with, outside of work – helping grow your social life and balance out your work schedule.

Still not convinced volunteering can improve your personal and professional life drastically? Jim Gibbons, CEO of Goodwill Industries International, adds, “I will bet you get back more than you feel you ever gave. Volunteerism is as much for the volunteer as it is the recipient of the volunteer service.”

So, if you feel that something is missing from your professional life, take a chance and volunteer. With mentoring, it only requires a few hours a couple times a month and you’ll make a huge difference in a child’s life and for yourself. 

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