When many people consider doing something for charity they tend to think it's all about doing good for others. But for the vast majority giving time is as much about what you get out of it as well as what you put in.
Here we've highlighted a few reasons why volunteering is also all about you…
‘I want a new career’
Volunteering is a great way to gain experience in a new sector that you’re interested in working in. Whether that’s children, the elderly, the environment or animals, volunteering can help you get a foot in the door in your chosen field and build up experience in that area. It’s also a wonderful way to gain new skills – administrative, caring, technological or other – which you can then take with you into a different job or career. It doesn’t just have to be limited to the area you want to work in, though: because whatever the role, being a volunteer is one of the best things a potential new boss can see on your CV!
‘I want to make new friends’
If you want to widen your social circle or simply feel less isolated, do some volunteering. Voluntary work can be a wonderful, low-pressure way to introduce a whole new circle of people into your life – many of whom could be potential new friends. And because volunteering brings people together who all care about a cause, you’re guaranteed to meet likeminded folk. So, take the plunge and find a volunteer role in a field you’re interested in – the arts? Social media? Care work? – and hey presto! Watch your circle grow, and friendships blossom.
‘I want to get fit’
Environmental groups and charities are always looking for people to carry out physical tasks – so what better way of getting in shape than by helping others at the same time?! Making a commitment to conservation work, for example, is also making a commitment to a healthier lifestyle: check out projects like the Green Gym or the Gym for Good which provide free and easy ways to get fit and do good.
‘I want to improve my love life’
Volunteering often means meeting likeminded people - so not surprisingly, it can lead to romance! Whether you’re doing physical work for the environment or joining together on a big arts performance, volunteer work can often be fun and sexy – and as it’s low-pressure, it makes a refreshing change from trawling bars, clubs or websites in the hope of meeting Mr or Ms Right. And if you need extra proof: The third most popular reason for doing volunteer work, according to a poll of volunteers, is to ‘feel sexy’. So there you go!
‘I want to be happier!’
As volunteering helps you to feel connected to your community, other people and the world at large, it’s not surprising that it also makes you happier. By making that leap and taking yourself out of your normal environment, it can also help you to grow in confidence, gain skills and experiences you’ve never had before, and boost your self-esteem too.
So there you have it, five good reasons why volunteering is all about you too - so go on get involved!