If you’re looking to build a stable career but also have a strong desire to give back to the community and make a difference in the lives of vulnerable individuals, the community services sector could be an excellent option. In fact, research shows that when workers know their work makes a difference to others, their job satisfaction and productivity rises.
So if you’re not sure whether a career in community services might be right for you, here’s a look at some of the most important benefits of engaging in community services.
1. You’ll have a positive impact on your community
The most obvious benefit of engaging in community services is being able to help some of the most vulnerable individuals in your community and advocate for their rights. Whether you end up working with asylum seekers and refugees or those struggling with addiction or mental health issues, you can be sure that you are having a positive impact on your community day in and day out.
2. Helping others can make you happier and more productive
In addition to giving you a chance to help others, engaging in community services can even make you a happier person. University of Michigan researchers have found that feeling your work has a positive impact on others can increase job satisfaction and productivity.
Out of the 60 fire fighters they surveyed, ten said they hoped to fight more fires in order to have a greater positive impact on people. Even telemarketers who believed their work had a positive impact on others reported feeling more satisfied with their jobs and also had more sales per hour.
3. The work is highly varied
Gaining qualifications and experience in a community service role means you’ll be qualified to work in many different areas. It’s also a great way to test out a few different types of roles before you choose a speciality that suits your interests and personality.
Some examples of areas that fall under community services include aged care, child protection, family services, emergency relief, and mental health and counselling.
4. You’ll develop valuable transferable skills
Engaging in community services can also help you develop valuable transferable skills that will benefit you in other areas of your life, both personal and professional. Research shows that community services can enhance students’ problem-solving skills, improve their ability to work within a team, and enable them to plan more effectively.
Of course, the specific skills you may develop will depend on the exact area you end up working in, but some examples of soft skills you may develop while working in a community service role include showing initiative and taking responsibility for others, working as part of a team, active listening and communication skills, as well as critical thinking.
5. It will help you grow your network
Working in community services gives you a chance to interact with a variety of people on a daily basis, and this can help you grow your professional network exponentially. This opportunity can be particularly valuable if you aren’t naturally very outgoing, because you’ll have the chance to develop your social skills and interact not only with your peers who share similar backgrounds and interests, but people of all ages and from many different walks of life.
Are you currently working a community service role? Are there any other benefits that we haven’t mentioned here? Let us know in the comments.