When presented with volunteering opportunities, I have found that youths are often put off by the thought of a construct that involves “work without wage or reward”. Well, this is not actually the reality and volunteering is an essential and concrete way to give back to one’s community and society at large.
Volunteering is a great way to meet new people and build healthy personal and professional relationships held at the core of a shared passion for humanity.
I am a proud volunteer at the UK’s Online Centres Network where I have contributed to empowering 15+ million people back into work or taking back control of their lives during tech-adoption maturity and beyond. I have been volunteering for 20 years, in England, Australia, Kenya and Wales and was recently awarded a platinum patron by the Nigerian Red Cross Lagos branch.
In this article, I share my perceived benefits of volunteering as experienced during my 20 years as a volunteer in England and Wales through the UK Online Centres Network where I am also the digital health and wellbeing specialist for the network.
Why should you consider volunteering?
Volunteering is a great way to explore and improve your social and technical skills. It exposes you to like-minded connections and networks that you could meet only in a corporate workplace.
Volunteering strengthens your ties to the community and gives you the opportunity to practise and develop your ideas. Because volunteering keeps you in regular contact with others, it can also support you to develop a concrete social fabric and a supportive and solid career base.
Benefits of volunteering
There are several ways to volunteer. You can volunteer off or online, through events, by contributing personal or organisational time and/or skill to a cause, or through cash donations.
Below are my top 10 benefits of volunteering.
- Volunteering gives you a sense of achievement and purpose and it is a practical way to explore your passion and purpose.
- You can make a difference in someone’s life through volunteering.
- You will like-minded individuals and organisations through volunteering.
- Be recognised and acquire references for your passion, skills and experience through volunteering.
- Learn new skills that could help your career and purpose through volunteering.
- Be a part of a community of passionate like-minded individuals and organisations.
- Get exclusive invitations to national events.
- Volunteering helps you feel better about yourself by improving your self-esteem and confidence
- You can share your talents, learn new skills and create a better work-life balance through volunteering.
- Meet industry experts and insights
- You can develop professional connections and networks through volunteering.
Volunteering is both extrinsic and intrinsic. Extrinsic because it is a good way to meet people and develop a social fabric and it creatively exposes you to professional connections and networks. It is intrinsic because it has a great way to give back to the community and society. When you give back and support or heal people in need, your self-esteem blossoms and you heal yourself too.