GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (ABC 4)- As a volunteer, you have the opportunity to improve your community and our world. And in addition to making a difference for your fellow human beings, there are multiple benefits you can receive in return.
Volunteer for a full-time job.
The experience you gain and the connections you make as a volunteer can help prepare you to enter, or re-enter the workforce, or smooth out transitions from one line of work to the next. If you’re thinking about a career change, volunteering in a pro-bono employment capacity is one way to get your feet wet in different industry, without taking on the risk. As you comfort level improves, and your confidence rises, you may decide to seek a full-time job, and the new contacts you’ve made can put you one step ahead. Volunteers make interesting people, and well-rounded employees. In fact, LinkedIn now has a section to boost your profile with volunteer experience.
Strengthen relationships and make new friends.
Volunteering is one of the best ways to meet new people, make new friends and grow relationships with the friends you already have. With each project, you’re united in a common goal, sharing the same passion to help others in your community. Creating the Good is contagious. As you meet more people and invite friends to join in, they in turn, will likely do the same. And working together in a low-stress, flexible environment is the perfect recipe for new volunteer ideas.
Boost your health.
Volunteering is proven to help reduce depression and stress levels, boost your self-confidence and even help you live longer. In fact, a study from Carnegie Mellon University showed that adults over age 50 who volunteered regularly were less likely to develop high blood pressure than non-volunteers. But health benefits aside, as nationalservice.gov says, the feeling of pride, satisfaction, and accomplishment—are worthwhile reasons to serve.
Perhaps the best part of volunteering is simply the joy you feel knowing you’re helping others. As a volunteer, you’re seldom tied down to a single task, and your time commitment can be as flexible as your schedule permits. If you’re not getting a sense of fulfillment in your volunteer role, you can simply move on and try something new. And the best place to find your next volunteer opportunity is right here.
(Sponsored by AARP Michigan)