Volunteering provides an array of benefits, not just for charities but for individuals like you too. Whether you’re looking to fill skills gaps or find a sense of purpose in your work, volunteering is an excellent way to showcase your skills and give back to the community.
There are virtually no limits to what a volunteer can do—you can volunteer for a charity abroad or stay close to home by volunteering in your local community. Volunteering not only helps contribute towards the common good but can also provide you with the satisfaction of knowing that you are working towards living in a better society. Read on to discover five of the more surprising benefits of volunteering.
1. Volunteering helps build on your experience
It’s important to remember that volunteering experience still counts as professional experience. On your resume, you can list your job title and on-the-job responsibilities under ‘volunteer experience’ rather than merely listing the fact that you were a volunteer. This highlights your volunteering skills as significant to your career growth and showcases the breadth of your achievements.
If you have minimal real-world experience to add to your resume, volunteering experience is one of the best ways to remedy that. Volunteer roles are easy to find on websites like Go Volunteer and Volunteering Australia, and you can search for positions that are highly relevant to you. Your volunteering opportunity is then an excellent way to build on your experience and close any skills gaps in a relatively short time.
2. Grow your confidence in the workplace
Another benefit of volunteering is that it can help you to familiarise yourself with the working environment. This can be perfect if you’ve just graduated and are entering the workplace for the first time. Volunteer work can even expose you to a higher number of responsibilities and departments of an organisation than in a salaried position. There’s greater flexibility in volunteering for this reason.
Some organisations even provide volunteer programs which are specially designed to cover different areas of the business—in the hopes that volunteers will be more engaged and aware of their impact on the organisation.
3. Show your dedication
Many companies look favourably upon volunteer work and displaying your charitable side will undoubtedly give employers a good impression of you. If you volunteer, you will tend to stand out because it’s evident that you are dedicated, enthusiastic and passionate, without having to say so explicitly.
Many volunteering opportunities offer extensive training, especially those in community services roles. For example, you could become an experienced Youth Worker while volunteering at a children’s charity or become a Disability Support Specialist after volunteering in a care facility.
4. Strengthen your ties to the community
Volunteering is a great way to get involved in your community, meet new people and build positive relationships. This makes it a great way to network and meet important decision-makers in the industry. This is not only beneficial for your future career but can also make you feel more connected to others with similar goals and interests.
5. Improve your mental wellbeing
Doing good for your community comes with a sense of accomplishment, positive identity and pride in helping others. Research suggests that the more we give, the happier we feel. Volunteering is the ultimate way to give—by dedicating time and energy to a cause that is important to you. The social aspect of volunteering also has a profound effect on your psychological well-being.
Are you interested in working in the community services field so that you can make a positive impact on the lives of vulnerable people? Find your purpose and gain fulfilment with a volunteer role that complements your existing skills and personality traits. If you’d like to develop your skills further, consider taking Open Colleges’ CHC52015 Diploma of Community Services. This course also includes a work placement so you can gain valuable experience in the area of your choice.