Boost Your Career and Volunteer by Alana Jackson

"When you volunteer, you gain skills that can benefit you in any work place."

“When you volunteer, you gain skills that can benefit you in any work place.”

Have you ever felt the satisfying rush of helping another in need? It makes you feel like you can conquer the world. Through volunteerism, you are rewarded not only with the satisfaction that you are helping others, but with tools that are sure to boost your career.

When you volunteer, you gain skills that can benefit you in any work place such as the ability to work on a team and under pressure; how to be dependable and exercise self-management skills; and even conflict resolution and decision making skills. Consider the following reasons to offer your services or the services of your company:

Increase your team spirit

Build your corporate character and cultivate your own. Service allows you to freely give of yourself. You have something to offer. Because giving is a two way street, you are sure to reap the reward of gratification that comes from helping others. Remember you have nothing to lose and everything to gain.

Manage requests for contributions

Another thing that makes volunteering so great is that it is flexible. You may dedicate as much of your time, talent or money as you like — as often as you like — to whom ever you like. Whether it be a children’s home one Saturday a month or a charity walk once per year, you and your company can pick one charitable organization or spread your commitment among several groups. We have all felt overwhelmed by the number of requests for charitable donations. If you have established where you give your support, you can clearly state your commitment(s) without causing offense when asked to donate by other organizations. Volunteerism demonstrates visible concern for your community.

Test new career opportunities

You may be exploring new career opportunities or wondering about your next occupational move. If so, then volunteering is a great way to test new career opportunities. You can learn from the hands-on experience by working in your field of interest and then deciding if that job is the right fit.

Build a professional network for success

Network as often as you can. Potential leads can open up new career opportunities. Through your volunteer work a supervisor, manager, client, or even a fellow co-worker can be a potential lead. You will meet people from all walks of life, from varied communities and with varied interests and connections. This may help you establish contacts you may not otherwise have made.

Find a charitable organization that is a good match for your beliefs and values. Make contact and ask how you can help. They will be glad to hear from you. Be careful not to over commit. This will help you avoid burnout and stress. You may want to make your volunteer role an extension of the work you already do–or try something completely different.

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