Volunteering for a nonprofit is an obvious way to help others. But have you ever considered that it’s an opportunity to help yourself as well? From honing professional skills to expanding your network, volunteering can be a win-win for both you and the people you serve.
Here’s how rolling up your sleeves and donating a little of your time and energy can make a difference in your own life.
1. It can fuel your passion.
You may love your job, but even the happiest employees and professionals can get stuck in a rut. Volunteering at something you enjoy may reignite a spark if you feel yourself getting bogged down with your daily routine.
2. You can learn new skills.
If you want to stretch yourself, search for volunteer opportunities that allow you to explore new roles and skills you’d like to develop. Professional development isn’t limited to workday hours—you may learn some great stuff you can apply to your job during a stint as a volunteer. And remember that you can (and should) add volunteer experience to your resume.
3. It will expand your network.
Not only will you meet people who support the same cause, you’ll likely find people who have personal and professional connections that could prove advantageous. On the flipside, you may find yourself in a position to help someone else further someone else’s career, which doubles your altruistic efforts.
4. Volunteering provides exposure to new ways of doing things.
You may get an opportunity to see how another organization runs and learn new ways of managing, brainstorming and solving problems. It can provide a fresh way to look at the challenges you face in your paid position.
5. You can use it as a team building experience.
This one goes beyond just you. Do you lead or work with a team in your day job? Look for a group volunteering opportunity—it can be an effective way to build better relationships while giving back to your community. Also, studies have shown that children who grow up volunteering with their parents are more likely to volunteer as adults.