Giving back to your community and the greater world around all of us is important for so many reasons. First, it’s simply the right thing to do. We are all connected in this ever-shrinking world, and the circumstances of our fellow man should matter to us. Also, it can help you discover a passion that becomes your life’s work. Whether it’s working with children or advocating for veterans or restoring natural environments, these efforts can easily transform into a career. And, it’s OK to be honest in sharing that sometimes volunteering has the selfish benefit of helping us with networking opportunities and skill growth in our own careers. As many of us have MANY connections with healthcare organizations, we really can’t use the excuse that we don’t know anywhere that could use our help and expertise.
A recent article entitled “How volunteering will make you a better (employed) person” on the blog Career Copilot spoke eloquently to all of the points mentioned above. The author is Dan Keller and his focus is primarily on how volunteer work can benefit those who are fresh out of school or at least fairly new in their careers, but his points can apply to all of us. He mentions that communication majors are great assets to charities who need to get out the word about the cause and associated fundraising and those with an English background can help non-profits with grant writing. Polishing of these skills can lead to a stronger resume when you are looking for that great new job.
Another important point made is that volunteering tends to make us happy. When we are in good spirits, we are more interesting and inviting to others. Just having the right attitude can open us up to conversations with others who will want to help when we reach out for job advice or a recommendation.
There is no question that volunteering is important simply because it allows us to give back and help others. But, beyond that, what impact has your volunteer work made on your career? If you are in the position to hire others, what role does their volunteer experience have on your decision to bring them on board?