Volunteering is more than just a way to gain experience for the career you want, or look good on a university application. It is more than just a gift of your time, as well, and if approached with right attitude, volunteering can yield benefits that can echo throughout your entire life.
Many non-profit organizations are dominated by volunteers, from board members and decision makers to those who help keep venues clean and presentable. For many, the organization they are a part of represents an overriding passion in their lives, or simply a way to help make their community -- or even the world -- a better place. The people you meet as a volunteer, the things you are a part of, are experiences that can affect you in ways you might not expect.
Discover Hidden Talents & Learn New Tricks
Volunteering is a fantastic way to step out of your comfort zone and the regular routine of your life. Every time you do something like that you are testing yourself, challenging yourself in new ways -- this is one of the best ways to learn about who you are and what you are truly capable of. Before involving yourself with a community theatre organization, for example, you might not have known that you had a talent for set design, or as a performer. Before helping out at a soup kitchen, you may have had no idea that you have leadership and organizational ability. The things you participate in or learn while volunteering could lead to better performance in your job, entrepreneurial ideas and success, or even just the simple knowledge of how to be a better parent, husband, wife, or friend.
Social Growth & Networking
Speaking of friends, volunteering is one of the best ways to meet people of like minds and passions. These are the sort of people that could be around and a part of your life for years to come, providing an exchange of ideas and sharing of experiences that can affect how you think, grow, and perceive the world. These are the sorts of people who can provide you with opportunities to grow as a person and in a career setting, and you are the sort of person who can offer the same for them. Plus, hanging out with people who like the same things that you do generally makes for a really good time!
Not everyone in a volunteer setting will be someone you would consider a friend. These people are no less valuable to you, however, as they present the challenge of learning how to work with and appreciate the differences in people, especially as you work toward a common goal. Often times, you will find that even the people you thought you were at odds with turn out to be valuable members of your social circle, or at least your personal development, later in life.
Every time you are put into a new situation, you need to learn how to adjust yourself to be successful in it. That new technique or skill you had to learn, or that difficult person you had to figure out how to reason with, are both victories that lead you toward a stronger sense of self-confidence. When you are faced with similar situations in your life you will know -- not just think... know -- that you can succeed there, as well. Volunteering helps to provide you with new situations and challenges -- and the more succeed, the more relaxed and capable you will feel when the universe tosses you the next curve ball.
Health & Generally Good Vibes
Volunteering can give you a positive purpose that can help to fulfil you emotionally, mentally, and spiritually. Helping someone less fortunate than yourself, or simply being a part of something positive can bring about enormous amounts of self-satisfaction. There is much to be said for feeling like you did a good job, and that you were a part of something positive and greater than yourself. Good feelings and good vibes such as these can help lower your stress level, improve your immune system's fighting form, increase your general happiness in life, and even help you to get a good night's sleep -- which can be hard to come by in this day and age.
Becoming a volunteer is a great way to effect change in your life over the long term. If you're ready to do that, then check out sites like volunteer.ca, or getvolunteering.ca. If you're interested in volunteering in Port Coquitlam, you could even start right here, with Terry Fox Theatre. Wherever you begin, do it soon -- you're worth it!
Where do you volunteer?
Tue, March 22, 2011
by Terry Fox Theatre filed under