Help Your Career – Be A Volunteer

Help Your Career – Be A Volunteer

Volunteer?!  I can hear you now.  “I hardly have enough time in the day for myself and my family.”  Lack of time is a major reason people don’t volunteer.  And very few people who do volunteer have a bunch of free time waiting to be used.

The reasons you should find time to volunteer go beyond just doing something good.  If you need more motivation than the altruistic value of giving, here are other good reasons you should make time to volunteer.

1.  It can help your career. Volunteer work is a great way to show your employer that you are a person who thinks globally.  In addition, you may make connections with other people or companies who also volunteer in the same capacity you do.  If you are unemployed, volunteering is a must.  When a new employer asks you how you spent your six months of unemployment, it will leave a positive impression if you are able to say you spent time working as a volunteer.

2.  It can provide valuable bonding time. If you are worried that volunteering may cut in to family time or time with your partner, make volunteering part of your bonding time.  Have your whole family get together for a neighborhood clean-up.  Instead of going out for dinner, you and your partner could spend an hour serving in a soup kitchen.  These experiences, when shared with the people you love, will deepen your bond.  Also, if you have children it’s a great way to instill the importance of giving back.

3.  It can give you a new perspective. While it is easy to feel down-and-out in today’s economy, spending time with people who are truly in need can give you some valuable perspective.  It may even make you appreciate the things you have more than you do now.

If you are a person who has never volunteered before, there are resources to point you in the right direction.  Sites like www.volunteermatch.org can link you to volunteer opportunities near your zip code.

Before you pick up the phone and call the nearest food bank, consider what causes are important to you.  Is helping the environment important to you?  Would you like to spend time being a big brother or sister to a child in need?  These are two very different, yet important, ways to give back to your community.  Determine what is important to you prior to diving in to a volunteer opportunity.

(Image via: www.lfslessonsasia.com)