Volunteering is the kind act of participating in labour for community, without expecting anything in return. It is one of the most rewarding and fulfilling things you can do. Now, before you start rolling your eyes, hear me out…
Not only does volunteering get you off your butt and push you to make a difference in this world, but what if I told you that it can also have a major impact on your professional reputation – and I mean this in the best way possible! Intrigued? Stick around for 5 reasons why volunteering can positively impact your career.
- Strengthen CV
This one is pretty self-explanatory, right? You can’t refute the simple fact that including voluntary work on your CV, makes you a more desirable candidate. When an individual is willing to go out of their way to participate in a deserving cause, knowing full well that they will not be getting anything in return, it makes them appear humanitarian, capable, and public-spirited. Which employer is going to complain about that?
- Expand Circles
Networking is not just done at professional events or through LinkedIn! There are a million ways to meet people and expand your circles, and volunteering is one of those ways. In fact, meeting people as you volunteer, will most likely allow for a more natural and easy interaction – eliminating forced small talk, awkward pauses, and uncomfortable stretches of silence that you often encounter at networking events. Typically, volunteering activities create a low-pressure and friendly environment, which increase your chances of having meaningful connections, and genuine or engaging conversations, with others.
- Skill Development
This one is another no-brainer. It is no secret that putting yourself out there and experiencing new things, can lead to the development of a new skill. By volunteering, you are enriching yourself with opportunities to try your hand at various skills and challenges. Today, there is a plethora of volunteering options that will allow you to dip your toes in something new, or something you’ve always wanted to try. Why restrict yourself from learning and growing?
- Sampling Career Options
Volunteering is a great way for you to explore different career paths and acknowledge all your available options. You may be itching to work for an NGO, or your dream job may be to become an event planner. Regardless, if you are someone who is still uncertain and does not want to commit – volunteering will give you a bit of space to expose yourself to these different fields, gather data, and decide your next move for yourself. It will also enable you to work in different work environments: are you someone that prefers to get your hands dirty, or would you rather work from behind a screen? With volunteering, the world is your oyster. The best part? There are no repercussions or consequences!
- A Whole New You!
Impressive CV. New friends. New skills. Damn! Who’s the new kid? Can it get better than this? It can! Not only does volunteering boost your entire professional image, presenting you as a well-rounded and impressive applicant, but it also boosts your self-confidence. You will feel competent and qualified for any job that you apply for, because you have desirable traits to bring to the table. In a job interview, you will also be able to highlight with real experiences, your acquired skills, and how you applied them to benefit your community. Your volunteering experiences can also change or give you unique outlooks on certain things, which you can utilise and apply to your convenience.
You, see? Volunteering is not just for old-world do-gooders. It can be very beneficial for young adults who are stepping into the working world. Got some time on your hands? Start volunteering today! Bet you’re not rolling your eyes at me now, huh?