Volunteer work is a great, helpful way to spend your free time. There are so many people and organizations out there that could benefit from the help of experienced and dedicated professionals. But even though giving back is the main goal of volunteering, there are plenty of benefits you yourself can reap from such opportunities. So if you’re looking to gain something you can’t find at the office while helping those in need, check out these attractive benefits that come from volunteering.
It’s not unusual that people want to bring their own proven skills to volunteer positions, and it can be very helpful for the organization to get that kind of professional work. However, that shouldn’t stop you from taking on new skills while you volunteer. If there is a skill you would like to develop in a practical setting, seek out volunteer opportunities that allow for that. There’s no better way to learn a new skill than through experience and volunteer work is a great way to get that experience.
We always talk about the importance of networking in the modern work world, but there are so many forms your networking can take. Some people don’t enjoy those wine and cheese networking events, nor do they find them very helpful. But if you’re looking to be a little more productive while you network, volunteer work allows you to form those professional relationships with people who will get a chance to see you in your element.
Of course, all relationships don’t need to be based in work. No matter your age, you can never be too old to form new friendships. However, as you do get older it can be harder and harder to find those situations that allow you to find new friends. Volunteering gives you that workplace atmosphere while removing some of the professional elements that might hinder friendships forming. It’s a great way to get out there and meet new people in a unique setting.
Explore new interests
Volunteering in any capacity is a very kind and selfless thing to do, but it doesn’t mean that you can’t seek out opportunities that best serve your own interests. Instead of seeking out the safe path in your volunteering, don’t be afraid to venture outside your comfort zone. It allows you to explore new areas of interest which could very well help to develop into passions you would otherwise never have found. Yes, volunteering is about helping others, but it doesn’t mean you can find things for yourself at the same time.
It’s always important to challenge yourself. As was mentioned above, shying away from those things that are outside your comfort zone won’t lead to growth. Facing new challenges, even ones that scare you is a great way to develop in new skills, learn new things and gain valuable experience. None of this even needs to relate to your career, but could simply be those life experience that you come to cherish.
As you age and strike up more of a balance between work and life, it’s important that you find ways to stay active. Even those boomers who are always on their feet can fall into a funk once they scale back the office hours. Even though you certainly deserve time away from the office, you need to find something that keeps you engaged. Volunteer work allows you to get out, be active and leave the stress of work behind.