The Unexpected Benefits of Volunteerism
As I look back on my marketing career, I think fondly of the times I coordinated and participated in philanthropic events. The corporation I worked for partnered primarily with Special Olympics. So, every year, I aided in that event. As it were, it turned out to be a profound experience for me in my 20’s. I walked away every time feeling more blessed about my life and at the same time inspired by the men and women athletes. Each relationship I built was touching, encouraging and real. I still smile when I think of that time and I wonder if today’s workplace still fosters volunteerism. The benefits of volunteering with the people I worked with were enormous to me. Volunteering helped me find friends, kept me in touch with my community, I learned new skills, and even advanced my career. Volunteering was also instrumental in helping my mental and physical health. I think you’d be surprised at all of the benefits that volunteerism can bring to you and your career.
One of the best ways to make new work friends and strengthen existing relationships is to commit to a shared activity together. Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and get to know your work colleagues on a more personal level. Volunteering also strengthens your ties to the community and broadens your support network. Work collaboration becomes easier when you genuinely get to know people better.
Even outside of work, volunteering as a family has many worthwhile benefits. Children watch and learn by watching everything you do. By giving back to the community, you show them firsthand how volunteering makes a difference.
Improve Mental Health
Reducing the risk of depression and stress are important benefits of volunteering. Volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others and helps you develop a solid support system, which in turn protects you against stress and depression when you’re going through challenging times. Working with pets and other animals has also proven to reduce stress and anxiety. Plus, helping others kindles happiness, a natural mood lifter.
Valuable Job Skills
Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic. Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training. For example, you could become an experienced crisis counselor while volunteering for a women’s shelter. Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, if you hold a successful sales position, you raise awareness for your favorite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills. Plus, it looks great on a resume!
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Ask your Human Resources or Marketing Department for charities your company many be involved with. Here at ROSI, we have supported many non-profit organizations by providing what we know–office furniture and office cubicles. It can be a meaningful and interesting way to escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life.
If your company is not tied to a certain charity, look for one that may interest you.