If you find yourself thinking about why people volunteer, some of them would give altruistic answers such as helping improve the lives of others or giving back makes them happy. These are certainly great reasons to become a volunteer. And these may be the same reasons you can use to get yourself working as a volunteer. But if you’re looking to see what’s in it for you, here are the top benefits of volunteering that can motivate you to get started.
One of the main benefits of volunteering is gaining experience. For those who are thinking of pursuing a career in a certain field, you can work as a volunteer first to see how well you like it. For example, if you want to become a chef, try working as a cook in a homeless shelter and see how you like it. Or those who want to work in the health industry can try volunteering as an aid in a hospital or home. Volunteering helps you gain experience without having to commit to the job for the long term.
Volunteering also helps you in your college applications. Everyone, including school boards, is impressed with volunteer work. And if you have worked in the same organization for years, it shows that you have dedication and passion. It also may have taught you more skills that other applicants don’t have yet.
Some may not know this yet but one of the great benefits of volunteering is that it can be used for academic credit. Of course, the volunteer work should be related to your course and this will vary between colleges and universities. But the fact that you can gain credit in school for volunteering is already a big deal.
Like with college applications, volunteering also helps with job applications. Listing volunteer work in your resume can help you get the attention of employers. Volunteering signifies that you are passionate about your interests and not just interested in earning money. Aside from your resume, volunteering also enables you to get respected people as your references. Volunteer work gets you in contact with people from all walks of life, some of which may be top professionals in their field. Also, your supervisors and coworkers in the program may also find your work worthy of recommendation. Sometimes, you can even get hired by the organization where you work as a volunteer. Positions open up from time to time and if you have proven your value as a volunteer, you may be offered the job permanently without having to go through a rigorous application process.
Another little known benefit of volunteering is that you get some perks offered by the organization reserved for paid staff and volunteers. For those who work in a charity thrift store, some are able to purchase items at a discount or even set aside the items that they want.
There are plenty of other benefits of volunteering such as networking, improved health, and skill development. Becoming a volunteer is not only a good thing for the community, it is also a great activity for everyone.