Volunteering: Help Yourself While Helping Others

By on January 8, 2013

When individuals consider volunteering, they often imagine all the good they’ll do for other people. There is no doubt that volunteers benefit the community they serve. In fact, many not-for-profit organizations would fall apart without the help of unpaid volunteers. However, the organization, community, and citizens aren’t the only ones who benefit from volunteerism.

You benefit too!

While you may not choose to volunteer because of the rewards you will reap, it is nice to know they are there! Check out these eight benefits of volunteering. While volunteering, you’ll be helping others and yourself.

1. Make new friends.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people. You already have at least one thing in common – the desire to help other people and serve the chosen organization.

2. Enhance social skills.
Not everyone has a naturally outgoing, boisterous personality. Some individuals find it difficult to meet new people. Volunteering helps introverts learn to communicate more naturally and effectively with others.

3. Boost self-confidence.
As you are doing good deeds for other people, you will experience a boost of self-confidence, self-esteem, and life satisfaction. As you accomplish one task after another, you will have a sense of pride and identity, creating a positive view on life.

4. Fight depression.
Being socially isolated is one of the main instigators of depressions. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with other people.

5. Learn about a new culture.
If you are an international volunteer, you will be totally submerged in a new culture. Even a short-term volunteer opportunity will expose you to people, traditions, customs, and lifestyles you never could have imagined. If you choose a domestic internship, you can still learn about a new way of life. There is a high probability the people you serve will have a very different lifestyle than yourself.

6. Consider a new career path.
Are you interested in changing careers? Or, are you unsure of what you want your first job to be? Try volunteering. You can get hands on experience while deciding if that path is right for you. Volunteering is a safe way to learn new skills without sacrificing a long-term commitment.

7. Establish valuable business contacts.
If you do choose to go a new route with your life, volunteering can help you get your foot in the door. You will be exposed to professional organizations and internships that could make the transition easier.

8. Enhance job skills.
Volunteering teaches valuable skills that are often used in the work place: teamwork, communication, problem solving, project planning, task management, and organization. All of these skills will help you later in life.

9. Have fun!
Volunteering gets you out of your day-to-day routine. Often times, volunteers feel relaxed and energized. They experience a renewed sense of creativity, motivation and vision for their lives.

Volunteering obviously benefits the community served. However, the volunteer will experience rewards too.

What do you think? Are you a volunteer? Do you know of a benefit we left off the list? Let us know!

Adam is a passionated writer who is currently working for theinterngroup where students can get intership and volunteering options in countries like Argentina, Colombia, Spain etc.

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