Unexpected benefits of giving back to the community
Giving back to your community is a noble thing to do. It’s a positive and productive way to spend your extra time and it helps people and causes that are important to you. Volunteering for those reasons alone are enough, but there are other ways that giving back can benefit you that you might not have even considered. Here are a few ways that volunteering in your community can enhance your own life as well as the lives of others.
It connects you to the community. When you volunteer in your own neighborhood or city, you’re helping to make it a better place for everyone. This strengthens your personal ties to that place, because you’re making an important contribution towards its continued success. Not only that, by doing hands-on volunteer work, you can get to know more people than you would by donating money or not doing anything at all.
It can build friendships. It’s been proven that you create stronger bonds with the people you work with, which makes volunteering a great way to socialize with others. Speaking of socializing, it has been shown that people who give back to the community feel less lonely, which helps to lower the risk for depression and anxiety.
You can develop new skills, or improve old ones. You aren’t just giving your time to a cause when you volunteer, you’re also donating your skills and effort. Everyone has something important they can contribute to a project, and if you’re willing to learn new techniques, you can become an indispensible part of it. Some of those new skills can be applied to the rest of your life, making your time spent there both charitable and educational. And, if you’re a little rusty in doing something you used to know how to do well, volunteering is a great way to sharpen those skills.
You’ll experience new things. If you haven’t volunteered before, the sheer act of doing so can provide you with a new perspective on life. If you volunteer at an animal shelter, for example, you might be more inclined to help out with other causes as well because the spirit of volunteer work is all about looking for opportunities to make the world a better place. You’ll get to learn more about different causes, meet all new people, develop different skills, and in turn increase your capacity for understanding.
It can boost your resume. Being able to say you contributed to charitable projects in tangible ways always looks good when you’re applying for a job, especially if you’ve learned skills that are relevant to the position you’re going for. While you should strive to find a cause that really speaks to you rather than one you think will aid in your job search, it doesn’t hurt to have a volunteer experience that helps others first, and builds your abilities in the process. In addition, the people you meet through volunteering could turn into valuable professional contacts, helping to expand your network.
9 Unexpected Benefits of Volunteering [WiseBread]