Volunteerism is a staple of the fabric of America. Our country may go through its ups and downs, but one thing is certain, the USA is always among the top countries when it comes to volunteering – and Minnesota is steadily one of the leading states holding its own in the top three. What we understand is that volunteering is a healthy activity on many levels, even contributing to work satisfaction.
Developing a new skill on the job can be intimidating, and when you are given the opportunity to work on that skill in a volunteer capacity, the pressure is lessened. You may still feel some pressure to perform, but it feels different. In a volunteer setting, your performance is not tied to your paycheck or to a performance review.
Many people look for volunteer opportunities in order to hone skills they want to develop for work. Additionally, you can feel good about helping others as you learn or perfect a new skill. It gives you a sense of accomplishment, and this contributes to a more positive view of life. As you develop expertise, you develop more assurance while you reach for future goals.
Most people have had to deal with the chicken-and-egg dilemma when trying to get a job or advancement – you need experience to get the job, but how can you get experience when no one will give you a job? Here’s how: You get the experience by volunteering. There are all types of volunteer experiences waiting for you. Many of them will help you meet people in your field of interest and provide an opportunity for you to practice the skills you need.
Volunteering can give you experience in developing hard and soft skills. Working with a team, conflict resolution, communication, problem solving, organizing, project development and management are just a few of the skills you can learn when you volunteer.
Organizations are also looking for people who can help with certain tasks. It could be building a data base to keep track of widgets or funders, or working as a mentor with kids or differently abled adults. Through volunteering, you have the opportunity to acquire new proficiencies and perfect those that may be a little rusty.
Play Up the Passion
When you engage in activities you are passionate about it, it can improve your sense of satisfaction. Volunteering has a way of making people feel happier and more connected in general. Some studies show that volunteering is essential to employee well-being.
Even during times of uncertainty, people find happiness and fulfillment in volunteering to help others. JCI St. Paul is here to help you make a personal investment in your professional self. We show you how being a good change agent in your community can help you become the leader you are destined to be.