Why you should volunteer

Whether you want to make yourself more appealing to employers, build new friendships, gain more confidence, spend your time doing something worthwhile or even just get out of the house more often, volunteering is the best way to spend your time. Aside from making you feel invincible and totes amazing, there are many other benefits to volunteering, a lot of which are related to making you a perfect candidate for any job. 

I hear you asking, ‘what are these amazing benefits that will make me irresistible to employers?’ Don’t worry, I have the answers, but trust me when I tell you, once you have read about these benefits, you’ll be rushing out of your door trying to find the perfect volunteering opportunity. So, here we go!

  • Confidence, confidence and even more confidence

Volunteering, when done productively and correctly, can help you gain an astonishing amount of confidence. You are put into a position where you probably don’t know anyone, so you have to talk to strangers and you’re in a new environment. Of course, it can be a scary place but as all the other people will most likely be volunteers too, you share a common interest and you can build off of this. Also, with volunteering, you are able to suggest your own ideas and thoughts in how you can maximise the success of your campaign whilst also listening to other people’s suggestions. This portrays you as a more communicative, empathetic and outspoken person.

This amazing confidence will show in everything that you do, in the way that you speak to your employers, in the way that you hold yourself in interviews and in your everyday life. Employers will be seeking someone that can express themselves and share their ideas, with your new-found confidence, this person is you. 

  • Developing your skillset and experience

Volunteering supplies you with various abilities that can be used in the workplace, such as teamwork, ethical thinking, communication, better productivity and time management. Being able to successfully work in teams is a desirable quality for an employer, and you will able to demonstrate this through volunteering experience. Assuming that you already have a future career in mind, you could find a volunteering placement that relates to the same field, for example, if you would like to work with children, you could volunteer at a nursery or primary school. 

Also, having voluntary work on your CV will help you in interviews and, before even speaking to any employers, you will be seen as an individual that is an active part of their community and someone who is thinking beyond economic gains. 

  • Making more connections and expand your possibilities

Volunteering allows you to meet many people, people that are volunteers like you, people that support your cause, managers and bosses for the organisation, the list is endless. This expands your social network and allows you to develop your social skills. Also, through working in these different environments, you can also develop an idea of which industry you might want to progress in, for example, if you had no idea which industry that you want to work in, you could volunteer in a variety and see which one you are more passionate for and suited to. 

Let’s face it, whether you’re volunteering at your local charity shop, a school, a nursing home or a food bank, the number of people that you will meet is incredible. You will be exposed to people from all different walks of life, and not only will this enable you to have the confidence to speak to anyone, but if you are volunteering in a position related to your desired field, you might also meet someone that can help in the future. The more people you know, the more opportunities that are available for you. 

  • Improving your physical and mental health

Physically and mentally, the benefits to volunteering are astounding. Physically, you will always be on the move and doing something, you’re trying to help a good cause so you’re going to be putting all of your effort into it. Studies have actually proved that regular volunteers have longer lives, which is no surprise considering that your mental health can also prosper from volunteering. The regular social interaction can counteract feelings of loneliness, meeting new people can fight depression and being a volunteer can give you a new sense of pride and purpose in life. 

All in all, volunteering is a hobby that can benefit you in many ways and in many different ways, whether it be for leisure or your career, the act of volunteering is something very respected and fulfilling. 

Post by Anika Tazmin

Anika is a 4th year student at the University of Nottingham.