As the holidays approach, it’s natural to think about helping those less fortunate. It’s the time of year when volunteers flock to non-profit agencies to assist with fundraising events, collect food and clothing for the needy, or adopt a family for Christmas. But for many people, volunteering is an important part of their life all year long, and it offers a myriad of benefits you may not have considered. Here are just a few of them:
Learning new skills
Volunteering can teach you interpersonal skills, such as being a better listener, motivating others, and working with people who have different backgrounds and other points of view. You can also develop valuable management abilities by learning how to coordinate a large project, how to organize an event, or how to manage a team of people to achieve a common goal. Depending on your talents and the project involved, you may even learn how to paint a house, create a website, or plant a garden. The sky’s the limit!
Developing a sense of perspective
There’s nothing like volunteering to make you realize how fortunate you are. We sometimes get so wrapped up in working, attending meetings, running errands, and chauffeuring our children that we lose our sense of perspective. A computer crash or a flat tire may cause an emotional meltdown. Working with people who are disabled, homeless, or coping with chronic pain can help put things in perspective and make it easier to cope with the minor challenges in your life.
Boosting your career options
The talents and skills you develop through volunteering can help you in searching for a new job or getting a promotion from your present employer. Volunteering also shows a prospective employer that you’re a community-minded person who cares for others. A recent study shows that 73 percent of employers would recruit a candidate with volunteering experience over one who had never volunteered. Be sure to include all your volunteer activities when updating your resume.
Meeting new people
Working together for a common cause is a great way to meet people from all backgrounds and walks of life who share common interests. You may develop lasting relationships with folks you would never have met if you hadn’t decided to volunteer. It may also present you with opportunities to network with other volunteers, bringing in business to your company or helping you locate other companies to work with.
Feeling better physically and mentally
Studies have shown that there is healing power in helping others. Volunteering can increase your overall sense of well-being, reduce depression, and even increase your resistance to disease.
If you don’t already volunteer regularly, it’s the perfect time of year to find a non-profit group in your community that appeals to you. Ask them how you can help, and make a New Year’s resolution to schedule time in your busy calendar to help your community. You’ll quickly find that helping others will help you as well.
Powered by Facebook Comments