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Volunteering and its Benefits

The Benefits of Volunteering - Volunteer for the Health of It!

Greater Lowell Senior Corps

Volunteering is a great way to help out other people in your community. The best volunteering should involve a genuine desire to help others. But this does not mean that the experience can't provide some very tangible benefits to you as well.

Here are some reasons why you might want to volunteer:

  • It allows you to explore career options. If you aren't completely sure that a certain occupation is the one for you, volunteering gives you a chance to learn more about it before you make a commitment. Like informational interviewing or job shadowing, volunteering provides you with a chance to research the career alternatives open to you.

  • It is a great way to develop new skills. For some jobs, formal education or training may not be required but employers will want you to possess certain skills. Volunteering is a way to develop skills that you can transfer to the occupation of your choice.

  • It is a way to gain valuable career-related experience. Some occupations will require you to possess a certain certificate or degree. But employers will also want you to have experience. So even if you have the skills and education you need, volunteering can offer you the chance to apply these skills in a "real-world" environment and provide the practical experience many employers look for.

  • You can meet new people. This is good in its own right, and it also allows you to establish some important networking contacts you might use to find a paying job or as references.

  • Volunteer positions can often involve a large degree of responsibility, if that is what you are looking for. This will allow you to exercise leadership, develop problem-solving skills and be creative.

  • Even if you already have the skills you need, the experience employers are looking for, and the job you want, volunteering can still benefit you.
  • It provides the opportunity to develop new skills and pursue new interests. You can never have too many skills. Developing new skills and learning new things are valuable in their own right, and not just a way to further your career.

  • Volunteering gives you a chance to share your knowledge and expertise with others. It can be very rewarding and fulfilling to know that all the training and education received has more value than simply putting food on your table (not to say that this isn't a valid reason for developing your skills and knowledge base in itself!)
  • Whether you are learning new skills or developing skills you already have, volunteering provides the opportunity for you to gain confidence and self-esteem.