Volunteering is considered a “taboo” by many working in the corporate sector. Questions like “what is in it for me”, “why should I waste my time with an activity that doesn’t pay”, “what am I going to get gain” keep on hounding the prospect. Then on the other side, there are a few that are determined to serve and are steadfast enough to say that “I want to volunteer” and “I want to help”.
Those who are blinded by the glamour of the corporate world, forget that there is another side to life, one which gives human satisfaction which is not comparable to that even of the happiness of getting the first salary check. For those who complain that there is no time, one must remember that for such tasks time is also auto attuned and adjusted from the heart. The spirit for volunteering takes over and time gets distributed or rather spills over towards serving. Then also, one need not completely devote to it as a full-time assignment, if there is a serious time crunch. In fact, even two-three hours of service per week can work wonders not only for the self but also for the cause and the organization that one is working for. It is advisable to volunteer for only that much time that one is comfortable with, so that it comes natural and does not seem enforced.
People who have volunteered will vouch that the ability to make a positive difference, bring a smile to someone’s face, raise someone to an above another level, create an impact that is for the better of the society and the environment overall will give an enormous gratification that is unparalleled with any other feeling created through self vanity.
For those who are contemplating or toying with the thought of volunteering, here are some benefits that can be leveraged through the spirit of service.
Volunteering helps you build your network: When you volunteer, you reach out to people. In the process you come across many other people who are striving to make a difference, taking the initiative, building the groundwork and pulling up all the resources possible to make a difference. These people can, in the future, be of help to develop your career, act as a reference, and give a sense of support in some form or the other.
Volunteering can get you ahead in your career: By volunteering you gain experience in your area of interest which you can later utilize in the workplace. Volunteering is one method which makes a gateway towards a field in which the volunteer has zero or inadequate experience. With volunteering one can test waters and explore the areas of interest, at the same time bringing about social change with one’s presence and activity. Volunteering can be considered as a project based work without a long-term commitment.
Volunteering can help you fill gaps in your CV: If someone is on a job hunt or out of job, one can take solace through volunteering. It brings about a soothing feeling and alleviates the tension that is associated with a serious job hunt. One can relax as a volunteer and utilize the time resourcefully in turn making a mention of it in the resume used to apply for a new job.
Volunteering can help develop personal skills: Though it is called volunteering, it is not an easy sail through task. One has to put the body, mind and soul to it. That said, one should not take it as a chore or get tensed about it. It is an activity that gives fulfillment along with overall personality development. With the various interactions while volunteering, one can develop soft skills, before landing on the site or project, one can enhance planning skills, while being on the field one can learn to work in a team and further organizing skills. These are just a few examples; a full-fledged volunteering project can have a significant bearing on bettering skills. The sphere of volunteering is a training ground to bring out the real personality settled within.
Volunteering can boost physical and mental health: While on the field, volunteering can make one move around from one corner to another. This can be strenuous at times, but the physical activity involved can prove beneficial to the body. At the same time, volunteering gives a sense of accomplishment which can boost confidence, refine one’s attitude and allocate a positive outlook of the future.
The best part about volunteering is that anybody can volunteer. There is no specific age group, gender, religion, qualification or even experience required. It is a good option for the youth who are looking to make a change and to the retiree who is looking to utilize their time resourcefully. All that is required is the ‘will to serve’. In fact, there are many employers today who are making a special attempt to recruit candidates with a social background. Volunteering cuts across boundaries and brings together people for a common good goal. It can be done along with friends, family, colleagues or complete strangers who can later turn into acquaintances or even friends.
Volunteering will never inhibit, it will only foster the chances of growth and prosperity in life. It will improve the scope of learning, widen the horizons of individual development, brighten the capacity of understanding and make a huge impact on the level of maturity.
Volunteering redefines the arrangement of the ‘scheme of things’ and gives it a new meaning.
Volunteering is a valuable learning experience, so go ahead and make the most of this self-made or God given opportunity! While you are at it, don’t forget to have fun and enjoy the activity with complete pleasure!
-written by Kavita Jhaveri
Kavita Jhaveri is a passionate writer cum marketer. She write on topics which excite her and make a difference on the level of thinking. She follows the principle of 'Do unto others as you want others to do to you' and 'be the change you want to be'.Kavita, in her spare time, looks to the lighter side of life by listening to lively music, surfing the net for information, networking, travelling and photography.