The Many Benefits of Volunteering

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?

About the author

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Joe Lavelle

Joe Lavelle is the Co-Founder of intrepidNow. Prior to that Joe was an accomplished healthcare IT executive and career coach with a record of successfully meeting the business and technology challenges of diverse organizations including health plans, health delivery networks, health care companies, and several Fortune 500 companies.

Joe is also the author of Act As If It Were Impossible To Fail, available on Amazon.

1 Comment

  • Joe,

    You bring up a very important topic. You’re right – volunteering is the right thing to do, AND the smart thing to do!

    Several years ago, I ran a small company with 16 employees. I had the opportunity to hire all but three, and most were right out of college, with little or no volunteer experience. One of the programs I instituted was a volunteer Community Service program. Once a month, a group of us would volunteer together on a Friday afternoon. The responsibility for staying behind and holding down the fort would rotate, as did the task of lining up the month’s community service detail.

    Over the years we read to the elderly, sorted food donations, planted flowers at the homeless shelter, painted a playground, launched a book drive, gave blood, and a host of other activities. We all benefited in numerous ways – it was great PR for the company, it helped to teach the employees (particularly the younger ones) the value of giving back, and it brought the team closer together – all very positive outcomes!

    With competition for great employees being what it is in our industry, I believe that a volunteer program in the workplace will not only attract the highest caliber candidates, it will help to retain them, as well.

    Thanks Joe!

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