A while back, sometime in 2009, I decided I was unhappy with my life. I realized I had to make a change on the inside to see the benefits on the outside.
As an unemployed job seeker, I began volunteering for a local community-based business. Once a week I’d take a break from the monotony of job searching and spend four hours giving back to my community. In the beginning volunteering was a way to fill my time and meet new people. However, I quickly realized I was getting much more from my unpaid job than expected.
Here are my top 7 reasons why volunteering is good for you:
- 1) Learn a new skill – through volunteering I overcame my fear of public speaking. I was given the chance to speak in front of 40 school children each week. If you can command the attention of text-hungry 14 year olds, you can handle a room full of business people. No problem!
- 2) Be part of a community – as a non-Vancouver native connecting to my community has been a challenge. My volunteer job allowed me to interact with other like-minded citizens.
- 3) Broaden your network – not only did I meet like-minded citizens but I was introduced to people from different cultures and backgrounds. Our paths may not have crossed had it not been for volunteering.
- 4) Feel a sense of achievement – there is no selfless good deed. You’re gonna feel a warm glow from giving back. Deal with it
- 5) Boost your career – connecting and networking are great for meeting new potential customers / business affiliates. But did you know it could also increase your “likeability” when applying for a new job? Employers like hiring staff that care about their community.
- 6) Find new interests and hobbies – I had a chance to try many new activities through my volunteer work.
- 7) Lead by example – in this busy world everyone is on a strict time budget. Your friends, family and coworkers will wonder how you do it all. And maybe even be inspired to give back too!
As we begin a new year I’d like to encourage you to think differently about volunteering. Look for organizations that are close to your heart. Giving back is always easiest when you have a natural affinity for the charity or business.
By Chantelle Jones, Roundhouse Blog Team. A Welsh girl living in Vancouver. Looking for new challenges. Spending my days operating a successful small business and my nights doing yoga, bootcamps and blogging. Sometimes I see my friends and movies too!