8 total results
Published: Tuesday 29th of October 2013
In today’s modern capitalist society we may find it odd to devote time to do something for free. When living in such a busy world, working for free may sound absurd, but a laboring life isn’t the be all and end all of everything. One can find comfort and a sense of achievement via unpaid work in volunteer roles. Not only does volunteering allow you to give something back, it’s thoroughly rewarding and most people feel akin to their spirit as they fulfill truly altruistic acts. Volunteering roles can’t pay you money but they can bring you satisfaction, skill development, knowledge and life experience.
It may sound paradoxical, but volunteering gives you a chance to improve your career prospects, both directly in receiving a paid role at the organization you volunteer for, or indirectly from all the experience and skills you obtain whilst volunteering.
Employers look favorably upon candidates that have had a lot of volunteering experience in the field, statistics show that over 70% of employers prefer to hire people with volunteering experience. As you volunteer, this gives you new skills and diversifies your qualifications, making you much more of a credible candidate for a job. A lot of employers, nowadays, are counting volunteering as work experience, so if you put it down on your CV this can really kick start your career in a positive way. If you’re not sure about what you’d like to do, volunteering can also be a great way to explore some possibilities and get to know how organizations are working. You can work on different challenges, solve diverse problems, and meet various kinds of people and many more things to help you establish what you’d like to do in life. There are numerous kinds of volunteering roles out there, from working with charities to undertaking unpaid internships – all these ways of volunteering can have some positive impact on you.
As you volunteer at an organization, you can make new connections, network and understand all the ins and outs of charitable organizations, making you more equipped if you’d like to find jobs in the charity sector. Networking and building relationships provide an easy way to get to know other people that are hiring at the organization you’re volunteering at. If you’ve been volunteering at an institution for a while, you’ll find it much easier to apply for a role there, if an opportunity comes available, because you’ll be at a greater advantage over other applicants that haven’t had any experience at the company. What’s more is that if you do a good job in the organization you’re volunteering for, your name will, probably, be the first one on hiring managers’ minds and so they may approach you before anyone else!
Picture the kind of environment that is likely to exist within a charitable organization. This is no fast-paced law firm, where stress is high-level, or a factory, where your hands are full of dirt – charitable organizations are great places to get to know new people who have decent values and socialize with them. If you’re volunteering with a group, you can regularly meet up to share the same views, activities and hopefully, you’ll make friends in this way. Unlike paid work that can feature a certain degree of office politics or heavy penalization if targets are not fulfilled, volunteering roles are a little more relaxed. There’s usually a sense of can-do camaraderie as you work with each other on tasks that you’re all passionate about.
Look into some scientific studies on volunteering and you’ll find that there is an overwhelmingly large amount of data on the positive impacts that it can have on mental health. Around the world, over 300 million people suffer from some form depression, but the feel-good mention of volunteering helps many people to let go of their anxieties and negative thoughts. A 2013 study from the National Council for Voluntary Organizations found that volunteering had favorable effects on life satisfaction, well-being, and depression. If you think about it, this makes a lot of sense – there’s a lot of good you can feel from doing a lot of good. National Health Service studies in the United Kingdom have also linked with volunteering to bring about increased self-esteem, confidence, better social interaction, reduced dependence on others, and a general feeling of integration within society.
Volunteering can have profound benefits on depression because it decreases social isolation, offering the chance to meet new people. This is particularly beneficial to the elderly generation or disabled people that are not able to get around and communicate with others as easily. A study from the Royal Voluntary Service in 2012 showed that people felt a lot more satisfying as they engaged in volunteering with other like-minded people and met others that they could share connections with. Volunteering can also give people a chance to cope with ill health as it allows individuals come to terms with illnesses they have and take their mind off problems they may be experiencing. Aside from serving as a distraction from problems, a lot of these benefits can also improve people’s health first hand, and help relieve many symptoms of their illnesses.
As people volunteer, they engage in caring activities. This caring attitude can help the person with their family relationships, improving family life and also fixing things with their personal connections. Caregiving roles make people more altruistic and less dependent on their families for help, so social improvements are to be made here.
Whether you can be bothered to volunteer or not, it’s hard to shy away from the facts and the real positive change that this activity can bring. There are a number of different places to volunteer and organizations that will take you on. No matter what your social background or qualifications are, there’s always going to be the volunteering organization that you can join and help make a difference towards. If you’d like to make a positive change in your life, consider volunteering with an institution of your choice today.