Volunteering offers vital help to beneficiaries and to the community as a whole. However, on an individual level, as a volunteer yourself, there are much more benefits present than you may actually think of.
1 Connecting yourself to others
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people, make new friends, and even to strengthen bonds with existing friends, through the means of shared activities. Not only does it broaden your support network, it also aids in the development of your social skills as well as building relationships on a more interpersonal level. To those who might be a little shy when it comes to interactions with others, volunteering might be a good way to learn, practice and improve communication skills!
2 Helpful to your own wellbeing
Volunteering brings many benefits, not just to the beneficiaries but also to you, as a volunteer as well.
The best benefit will be that volunteering helps to reduce and even counteract the effects of stress, anger as well as anxiety. Providing aid and working together with others is bound to help in your overall psychological well-being and it helps with relieving your stress, anxiety and mood in general. Researchers also found that the act of being helpful to others can deliver immense pleasure, which can increase serotonin, a neurotransmitter that helps regulate mood, or simply put, makes you happy.
Another benefit will be that volunteering can provide a sense of purpose, giving you a new meaning and direction in life, especially when you might be fazed by the unpredictable future. It shines a new light to your goals and ideals which might help you to be more clear in the path you want to take.
3 Benefits to your career
Through volunteering, one other seldom-expected benefit is to be able to pick up skills that will improve your future job prospects. This is often the case with opportunities in which participants are required to be sufficiently trained, or at least learn on the “job”.
There are many workshops and courses that the volunteering organisations might sign you up for. For example, before providing mentorship to underprivileged children, mentors would need to be trained to handle different situations as well as the methods to properly mentor a child. In addition, volunteering can also help build upon skills that you already have and to use them to benefit the greater community, especially when the voluntary work you are working on uses your experiences from your current career.
4 Develop leadership qualities
Initiating a new project to help the community, planning and executing that comes with it, will undoubtedly pose a challenge to your leadership and organisation skills. A leadership role in a volunteering opportunity is thus rewarding, especially because of the opportunity to share your passion, value and inspiration with others. Not to mention, developing the ability to shape the world around you in the way you choose. Therefore, through volunteering, this crucial soft skill can be learnt and the experiences garnered from being a leader will definitely help you in your future road ahead.
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