Why volunteer in your community? The obvious answer is to help an altruistic, nonprofit organization meet its goals without it incurring extra labor costs. Beyond a loving act of giving, volunteering has powerful personal benefits.
Volunteerism can fight depression and anxiety because it offers a positive distraction away from negative “self talk” scripts that often accompany these conditions. The act of giving back serves as a strong counter-punch. The result is you are happier helping others, and you naturally fight for your own mental health.
Getting work experience is another benefit of volunteering, but more important it shows “demonstrated interest.” You can’t put a price on this, and you can’t go back in time to get it. It is irrefutable proof to a potential employer that you have passion. This can catapult any resume ahead of the pack.
Skill development is another powerful benefit of volunteering, and it can accelerate your transition to another occupation faster. Engaging with people, networking, and increased opportunities come with relationships, and it’s more likely that you may be in the right place to experience sudden opportunity.
Volunteering is a love gift, but your time and effort can be returned many fold.
Source: UTEAP FrontLine Employee (January 2017)