Often when you think about volunteering, your focus is on the good that you can do for others. That's the whole point of volunteering, right? But what might surprise you is how much it can do for you too. From making you feel good to potentially advancing your career, there can be some seriously worthwhile benefits of volunteering for yourself (as well as for others). As it is International Volunteer Day tomorrow, we’d thought we’d share our top five personal perks from volunteering.
Gives you purpose
If you're finding it hard to work out what your next step is or simply struggling to feel useful, then volunteering is a great way to channel your energy and feel functional. Some days, even having a reason to leave the house and do something constructive can kick-start the motivation you need to discover your own ambition.
Builds your tribe
Volunteering is a great way to make new friends. Coming together with a group of people with a shared passion is an excellent way of making some really deep connections as you work together on a positive project. Even if they all don't end up being your new BFF, you will still find a community of like-minded people who have shared passion and goals.
Boosts your self-esteem
If you've been feeling a little down on yourself, then helping others is the perfect way to give your confidence a boost. Volunteering will not only give you a sense of accomplishment from the work you are doing but also pride in the contribution you are making to the community. These are powerfully satisfying feelings and will help you feel more positive about yourself.
Advances your career
If you're just starting out on your career path or looking to change direction, then volunteering is a great way to show your passion and work ethic. Any type of volunteering will look good to a potential employer on your CV and, if it happens to relate to your field of choice, then the benefits for you are obviously increased. If you don't yet have any work experience, then volunteering can be a great way of showing you can deal with responsibility and show initiative. You can also make contacts through volunteering that can help to open doors for you in the future or give you a reference for a job.
Develops new skills
Volunteering isn't always about sharing the skills you already have - you can develop new ones too. From learning about planting trees to building a well, you'll be given hands-on experience doing something you probably would never have tried otherwise. It's also a great opportunity to learn where your own personal strengths lie. You could discover a new talent for talking to strangers, being a leader or managing a project.
Want to volunteer for an eco-charity or non-profit organisation? Check out this list of our fave ones.