The benefits of volunteering: What’s in it for you?
Many people are inspired to volunteer because it enables them to give back to their local community or help people in need across the world. However, volunteering can also be a fantastic way of pursuing self-development too, enabling you to build new interests and meet a fantastic variety of people from different backgrounds. If you’ve been asking yourself, “What will I gain from volunteering?” then you’re in the right place as here, we will break down why volunteering is a great way to make the most of your time.
1) Learn and develop new skills
Volunteering will help you grow your skillset by making you step outside of your normal routine and try something different. When you invest your time in trying new and interesting experiences regularly, you can discover new hobbies, interests and passions you had not considered before. Volunteering often includes volunteer training, providing you with the opportunity to learn a new skill whilst giving back to your local community and communities in need around the world.
2) Create career opportunities
Volunteering can help you build your CV by developing valuable professional expertise such as time management, interpersonal skills and working together with others. As you grow more confident and comfortable interacting with others in a professional environment, as well as adhering to routines outside of your own, you become more favourable to employers. Practical experiences are often a key skill requested by employers and with examples of specialist volunteering on your CV, you’re sure to ace your next interview.
Transferable skills are some of the most sought-after skills by employers. Transferable skills that can be learned from volunteering include;
- Organisation and planning
- Mentoring and training
- Problem solving
- Interpersonal and teamwork
3) Becoming part of your community
Keeping regular contact with other people is a great way of feeling like you are part of something bigger. By becoming an active member of your local community, however you choose to do so, you boost the feelings of belonging and improve your sense of self. Joining a group of volunteers can open your mind to other ways of life, provide a greater understanding of society and defend against the commonly felt sense of detachment that many people suffer in modern life. If you are new to an area, volunteering is a great way to meet new people in your community. It’s also an opportunity to uncover new and interesting things about the region that you may have never found out on your own.
4) Make friends!
Many of our volunteers say that they have met some of their best friends through volunteering experiences. Volunteering is a fantastic way of meeting people that share a similar outlook to you on life, hold similar interests and have a shared willingness to improve the world around them. People from all backgrounds and walks of life are brought together through volunteering, providing an interesting way to develop interpersonal skills while expanding your social network and living a more fulfilling life. You can also strengthen relationships with your friends and family by inviting them to join you in a shared volunteering activity, whether it’s a local cause or an international initiative.
5) Gain in confidence
Volunteering offers an opportunity to improve your self-confidence through access to learning and self-growth. Discovering hidden talents and new capabilities creates a great sense of accomplishment and satisfaction, boosting your self-esteem. Not only will you see an improvement in self through volunteering but your confidence will carry over to other areas of your life and potentially open up new opportunities both personally and professionally.
6) Stay physically healthy
Getting active and keeping fit is key to living your best life but finding the motivation to exercise can be difficult. Volunteering covers a huge variety of tasks from the physically demanding to the relaxed and fun, all of which can offer fantastic benefits to your physical health. Increasing your activity levels and moving around more has been proven to improve life expectancy and even reduce the risk of heart disease. Specifically, older volunteers have been shown to have a lower mortality rate and are less likely to experience high blood pressure compared to those that didn’t volunteer.
7) Improve your mental health
Volunteering benefits our mental health too. Everything mentioned above, from encouraging physical activity to building relationships with others, has a proven positive effect on our mental and emotional health. We, as humans, are naturally inclined to want to help others and fulfilling this need can help us to feel happier.
Read more about this here.
The Importance of Volunteering
Volunteers are at the core of what we do and without them, we wouldn’t be able to reach the widespread number of communities we currently support. Our volunteers enable us to deliver life-saving resources and provide ongoing access to key sectors including healthcare and education for orphans and widows around the globe.
We are grateful for every single contributor and volunteer who allows Orphans in Need to continue providing support and welcome you to join in us in our mission to provide better futures to the less fortunate.