Volunteer work, irrespective of how much time is invested or what specific efforts are supported, can radically, positively transform a person’s life, in addition to the self-gratification naturally achieved through altruism.
Vince Marchetti of Coronado, California, the previous Regional Vice-President of the active healing solutions division at Kinetic Concepts Incorporated, recounts a few of the noteworthy benefits that one can discover through involvement in volunteer endeavors.
Going into volunteering, you introduce yourself to new people, some of whom can be influential community leaders, Vince Marchetti states. Community spokespeople can teach you plenty of invaluable lessons and perhaps offer a helpful reference for your professional pursuits. Participating in volunteer work — at a time that suits your schedule — you come into contact with various people who complement your life, whether they fit the mold of friends or colleagues. These networking openings also expose you to upcoming job openings and provide an inside scoop on a particular employer’s information.
Develop and Diversify Your Skills
Your already-established set of skills, inherent or picked up at a young age, can be refined through volunteer hours, Vince Marchetti says. Sometimes, when those talents go unused for a lengthy period, they lose a measure of sharpness or effectiveness. Fortunately, volunteer work keeps those skills armed and ready for the next time that you call upon them. You also gain new strengths during volunteer duties which will likely grab the attention of a prospective employer (teamwork, communication, mediation, to name a few).
The key is to find a volunteer opening that aligns with your future career goals. For example, if you were seeking a supervisory role, you could first earn experience by overseeing and planning a fundraising event. It would allow you to determine your level of prowess in various areas and exactly where there is room for improvement. Best of all, volunteering supplies a risk-free atmosphere to practice and perfect your latest skills, further boosting your confidence along the way.
Health and Happiness
Stress, frustrations, and anxiety can all be cured through volunteer efforts, Vince Marchetti confirms. Assisting and working with others is proven to have a deep mark on your psychological health because you are creating personal connections with people. Such consistent contact with others places you in a steady support system and ensures that you are involved in a relevant cause, preventing depression and giving you a sense of purpose.
Physically, your health will benefit as well, with studies indicating that volunteers have a lower mortality rate, are less likely to encounter elevated blood pressure or a heart disease, see their symptoms of chronic pain diminished, and experience superior thinking capabilities. As if that wasn’t enough incentive, researchers have also verified that helping others delivers massive pleasure and augments happiness.
Final Thoughts from Vince Marchetti
Anyone who is uncertain about their career ambitions or interests can most assuredly commence the process in volunteering, Vince Marchetti says. Learn about new fields, uncover hidden talents that you perhaps didn’t realize you were in possession of, and move forward. Expanding your horizons will also guarantee that you come across different cultures, perspectives, and customs, making you a more polished individual as a result.