Volunteering, volunteering, volunteering. If people have known me long enough they would probably tell me to change my name to volunteering. And when they hear my stories of volunteering, watching their face drop in awe of the achievements is always a pleasure. I have grown so close to volunteering I never want to stop it—is like my best friend that I can’t hug or see, but I am always with. Volunteering has opened up so many opportunities, developed my skills and expanded my networks. I am going to outline a few quick tips for why I think it is important and the perks of volunteering.
1) Typically people say it’s good for your CV. It is great for your CV—especially if you have not had work experience. Volunteer at your place of worship, or at the local youth centre. Just give one or two hours a week–you don’t have to do too much. Whilst you’re volunteering you will polish up those soft skills that employers love without you even realising. You know skills like: communication, being a team player and leadership. If you’re lucky it could expand to skills related to informatics and other skills that might take a few years of development. So in fact when people say it is good for your CV, it is not just good, it is GREAT!
2) Your general wellbeing will be uplifted. How does it feel when you do something good? Does it feel just good, or greater than good? Volunteering can help enhance you—boost your confidence at times when you are down. It is a great thing to do if you have just lost your job. You can boost your confidence again by giving a few hours to a project. Volunteering is limitless. There will be loads of things that you can get involved in, but it’s up to you to find your perfect fit and something that interests you. You never know, those few hours may expand into full time hours, which could lead to re-employment. Also when volunteering, you give up your own time and energy, so the end result should make you feel good and proud of yourself again.
3) Meeting new people. You’ll probably meet people from different cultures and backgrounds that you might not normally. Volunteering with people who are as passionate about a cause as you are, is a great way to meet like-minded people. The possibilities and range of people who you meet up is absolutely endless. It is my favourite bit about volunteering. The people who you meet, some of them can become lifelong friends, due to similar interests. I have met so many incredible people during my time of volunteering; that list never stops growing. Everyone has their own story to tell, which is just so powerful!
Find something and just give an hour or two back by volunteering. There are lots more benefits and perks of volunteering but I think I’ve covered the essentials.
Written by co-creator Kishan Patel
Photography courtesy of Flickr