How Volunteering helps
Posted on April 27, 2015
This is a guest blog post from Intern Queen Alumni Ambassador Ana Lleonart.
There are many benefits that come along when volunteering with your favorite organization(s), whether they be personal or general. Although cliche, giving back really does reward you in more ways than one. Many fail to notice the ways that volunteering can be related to a professional life. Here are a few ways which explain how that can be the case…
- Opportunity for networking. Volunteering allows you to meet several people from different backgrounds, with varying experiences. These are people you can learn from and share experiences with, all in an effort to build a lasting bond: that is networking. Whether it be while volunteering or long after in the future, you may have the need to reach out to this person and thanks to your bond that should not be a problem.
- Resume standout. You know those pesky one or two lines that sometimes stay blank on your resume, but are not enough for a whole description?– those would be great space to include your experience as a volunteer. If you want to make it even better, list out your position at the organization rather than listing yourself as a general volunteer. For instance, if you volunteered at a food drive and collected cans from community members, you can title that task as ‘Drive Coordinator‘ and include the tasks performed. That change in title will glitz up your resume lines, while still remaining truthful.
- Adds to your character. Volunteering can take up as much or as a little time as you are willing offer. Regardless, time is precious and even one minute spent giving back at an organization you care about shows potential/current employers some of your values. Volunteering lets them know that you care about other things besides work, you can step out for an hour or two a week to give back. This is a characteristic that employers may find attractive because it shows them that you can contribute to the culture at work.
- Skill development. Taking on a volunteer role at an organization also allows an individual to acquire and/or improve certain skills. According to the volunteer job and tasks, a person can pick up new skills that can be useful well after their volunteering role. For example, volunteering for a non-profit organization may allow a person to work on their communication skills– whether it be gathering funds or setting up an act, communication is key to the success of either.
- Social butterfly. Another looked over benefit of volunteering, is the chance of socializing and connecting with people you might had not before. Sure, there is work to get done but in the process of this you can meet people in your field who you can form a friendship with lasting well longer than your time as a volunteer. This is a factor that I can testify to; while volunteering at a non-profit I formed a friendship with a fellow volunteer– eight years later, I am still friends with her and we sometimes reminisce about our time at the organization.
These five points are just teasers of the all the ways that volunteering can help you professionally, while also making an impact. Now a days more professionals are setting time aside to volunteer at organizations they deem as important. Which is why it will be more probable than not, that while volunteering you will experience one of the five points listed above. So, go out and volunteer for an organization that you connect with and while making a difference also remember that there is opportunity to develop professionally.