Connecting with others meaningfully, exercising your passion for a particular cause, and widening your social networks are just some benefits of volunteering.
Volunteering fulfills a social responsibility, can boost your career, and count as work experience. In this article, we’ll explore the numerous advantages of volunteering and how it can enhance your personal and professional life.
why is volunteer work important?
find what you’re passionate about.
If you’re going to volunteer, do it because you believe in it! After all, you’re donating your time – why spend effort on something you aren’t passionate about? But above all, you will get to know like-minded people.
have zero expectations.
Don’t go into volunteering wondering ‘what’s in it for me?’ At the end of the day, the point of volunteering is to serve your community.
Yes, there are some great implications for your career, but if those are the only reasons you’re considering volunteering, you might want to take a step back and reevaluate.
The best, most effective volunteers offer aid and support first, and enjoy any perks second. Ultimately, you should feel like contributing to something worthwhile is reward enough!
treat volunteer work like paid work.
When you volunteer, it is important to consider your involvement as if you were being paid for it. Although you are giving your time for free, you must abide by the rules and expectations of the mission and the organization you are working for.
Be respectful, dependable, and diligent. If you wouldn’t act a certain way at work, don’t do it when volunteering.
know who’s in charge.
Most charitable and non-profit organizations have boards that include high-ranking political, business and social figures. Get to know them and connect. You never know where your next opportunity will come from.
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how can volunteering help you in your career?
try a different field of study or a new career.
It’s a great way to get first-hand experience and knowledge in your area of interest, explore new possibilities, get out of your comfort zone, meet people in the field, or make a long-term commitment.
build out your resume, or gain on-the-job experience.
This is especially true for recently arrived candidates who need current Canadian work experience to gain employment in their fields.
Not sure which skills are highly valued by Canadian employers? Check out our list of top in-demand skills!
hone existing skills or learn new ones.
Many organizations provide free training to their volunteer workforce. Seize the ideal chance to acquire transferable skills in a non-judgmental environment.
Increase your confidence level, develop your skill set, communicate better, and practice problem-solving and teamwork.
create or expand your professional network
By working as a volunteer you can meet new people, potentially mentors and representatives of companies and organizations that could be useful to you in the future. This new network can also provide you with valuable information and advice for your professional development.
Recruiters often consider volunteer experience as an important factor when assessing candidates. Why? Because volunteering demonstrates your passion and commitment to a cause.
If the company you are interviewing with shares the same causes, this can tip the scales in your favour. In addition, volunteering will certainly provide you with invaluable references if you are looking for a job.
gain ‘real world’ experience that employers are looking for after you graduate.
Volunteering can provide you with valuable real-world experience, especially if you are a new graduate. Indeed, while book learning is important, employers often look for additional practical experience.
move ahead in your organization.
It is possible to feel stuck in your current role because it is the one you are most comfortable in and know best. However, this can prevent you from learning new skills or applying for leadership roles, as you spend the majority of your time in your current role.
Volunteering can be a solution to help you improve or acquire new skills, such as team management, collaborative working, planning, task delegation and communication.
feeling useful, productive and satisfied with your contribution
Your current job may have become routine and you may feel stuck. Volunteering can help you out of this situation by reminding you that you can find pleasure in what you do.
Engaging in a voluntary activity can give you a sense of accomplishment and purpose. And if you are unemployed and your job search is taking too long, volunteering can help you regain your self-esteem by making you feel valued and appreciated.
stay active in retirement.
Volunteering allows you to remain active in your field of interest without having to devote as much time and effort as a full-time job.
Volunteering can be an effective way to learn new skills, expand your professional network, get involved in your community and contribute to a cause you care about.
As well as offering a personally rewarding experience, volunteering can also help you develop your career and find professional opportunities.
So why not consider giving some of your time and energy to volunteering?
take your career to the next level
Maximize your career potential by accessing our comprehensive range of tips and techniques. Put them into practice at every stage of your professional journey, and watch your progress soar.explore our tips
Are you looking to work for a company committed to volunteering?
Find out how Randstad Canada is involved in Volunteer Month and join us in making a difference.