Do you want to make a difference? Well, you can make a change in someone’s life. You can bring a smile to their face and inject joy in their world. There’s only a few things that can be deemed as ‘priceless moments’. It’s true what they say, being an integral part of someone else’s achievements is indeed one of the most humbling experiences. We live in a world of constant scepticism and self-doubt and that’s why volunteering will bring you peace and humility.
You could join an NGO where you’ll feel your input and effort is meaningful. First, research the work that the organisation is doing before getting too involved. Also, look at how it operates and its successes. There are many non-profit organisations which you can join, one of them being Médecins Sans Frontières. This group of doctors and activists help people with emergency medical care in more than 60 countries.
Student life is about gaining knowledge and experience. And a good time to consider doing some meaningful volunteering work is during your student years. While studying and hanging out with friends may take up a lot of your time, making time to volunteer can add value to your university experience. You can benefit a lot from volunteering and it’s a great start to finding an opportunity that’s right for you.
Here are a few reasons you should volunteer and how it can benefit you in the future.
Make a difference
The most obvious benefit of volunteering is it’s a rewarding experience. It’s sometimes so easy to get stuck in a routine as a student with classes and homework. But it’ll be worth it to switch things up a bit to make a difference in a community and your personal life. It’s best to search for a volunteering job in your field, something you know you’ll enjoy. You should consider what you feel strongly about, whether it’s children, the environment or something else. Read the mission statement of organisations and what they expect from you. And look at how you can bring about difference through working with your chosen NGO. Usually, the more locally you volunteer, the better.
Develop job skills
When you volunteer, it might be one of the best ways to gain hands-on experience for a future career. And giving a helping hand to a community won’t just result in great networking opportunities but the experience can also be a great addition to your skill set and CV. With each new volunteering job comes training with a different set of skills. These skills might seem basic and unhelpful while training but can become a great benefit soon. If you develop new abilities, it’ll help set you apart in the job market. It can also make you more productive and successful. Volunteering broadens your experience and exposure to life. And it won’t just help you make a difference in a community, it’ll also help you on a personal level. Are you planning on becoming a nurse or doctor? Volunteer at your local hospital. Following a career in environmental science? Find a trail restoration programme. This is the perfect opportunity to gain essential leadership experience that all employers want to see.
Explore other interests
Sometimes you find yourself in a tedious routine and need to balance your life with a variety of activities that can be both relaxing and energising. Volunteering is a great way to delve into a unique career paths or new hobbies you may never have seen yourself taking. Things, like starting a vegetable garden at a local school or spending a few hours a week at an old age home, could all result in new interests you didn’t know you had. By volunteering, you’ll be working with different people and doing real work that also brings about change. It allows you to get involved with new things and develop technical and social skills that aren’t necessarily taught in the classroom.
Meet new people and network
Meeting people in university isn’t tough but meeting good friends can be another story. Volunteering brings all walks of life together and no matter your personality or background, you’re bound to connect with someone. There’s no telling who you may meet or what sort of impact these people could have in your life. This is possibly one of the most exciting aspects of volunteering. No matter your age, building relationships with people is important. You’ll be able to network with different people. And these people might send you in the right direction when you’re eventually looking for work.
Enhance your education
Often, the most valuable lessons are taught outside the classroom. Going through the motions of class after class, semester after semester, might not be enough to get the most out of your education. Having hands-on experience in a real world setting is one of the most valuable additions to your education and skill set. So it’s important to get involved early to optimise these opportunities.
Volunteering can be just as important to an employer as your qualification. It’s crucial to show you’re able to achieve a good work-life balance because it paints a better picture of the real you.