Volunteering your Way to Career Success

When many of us volunteer, we choose to do so because we have a personal or professional connection, attachment or affiliation with an organization or cause. We often make the decision of where to contribute our time and efforts based on our personal views and feelings or on the recommendation of friends, family and colleagues.

Typically, we are drawn to volunteer opportunities that align with our personal or professional development goals. So naturally, your volunteer efforts are often related to your passions, which vary from person to person. The benefits of volunteering for something you are passionate about and believe in are endless. But there are also potentially many other beneficial volunteer opportunities that you haven’t yet considered.

Here are three tips to help you consider your next volunteer role and how that role could change you in monumental ways.

1. Volunteer Outside of Your Known Interests.

Take the plunge; you might be surprised by what you learn about the world and about yourself when you step outside your comfort zone. While volunteering is a great way to grow your existing skill set and continue to master them, it can also be a great way to acquire new skills and discover ones you didn’t know you had. We approach our work life with that mindset, so why not approach your volunteer life with it as well?

As much as volunteering is an opportunity to give back, make a contribution, and do your part to achieve great things, it is also an opportunity, amongst other things, to try new things, learn new skills, and meet new people. Volunteering outside of your comfort zone, or in another area of interest is the smartest, risk-free, and safest way to try new things, acquire new skills and see how doing so might inspire new interests and passions.

2. You Have More to Gain Than You Think.

We often hesitate to volunteer in areas that we feel we lack the skill set for, but volunteering is the best way to try something without the risk of being judged. Consider a business professional and entrepreneur who, based on experience, has the most incredibly unique insights and stories to share. The only issue is he doesn't feel confident in his public speaking skills. The fear of not being able to speak publicly prevents him from thinking of the professional development value of volunteering in a role where he might be required to facilitate a classroom or host a virtual event. Volunteers often think of what they are doing for others, but you also need to consider what volunteering is helping you accomplish. It's not selfish to think of how you can develop new competencies and gain confidence while still having pride in what you're doing to help others.

3. If You're Considering a Career Change, it Might Be a Volunteer Opportunity Away.

As you continue to volunteer with organizations and explore new and exciting opportunities, you may realize that you have a previously untapped skill set or area of interest. Imagine the potential this could have on your career and the perspective you can now offer based on these new experiences.

Volunteer and we guarantee that your next volunteer role could change your life, your attitude, your vision or your career path!

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