5 Reasons Why Volunteering is a Brilliant Career Move

By Eleanor Rose| December 22, 2015

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Volunteering Helps Your Career

Why Multi-Tasking Millennials Should Find Time To Volunteer

Your generation is more committed than any other generation to loving your work, improving your skills and feeling you are reaching your potential. Millennials truly want to make a difference. The holiday season and new year makes us think of others in need, and how we can actually do something about it.

But when you’re a full-time student, interning and working, it may seem you barely have time to sleep, let alone volunteer. Giving time that you barely have to others is bound to be at the bottom of your priority list.

However, a recent study revealed that volunteering has actually shown to make you feel like you have more time.

“The results show that giving your time to others can make you feel more ‘time affluent’ and less time-constrained than wasting your time, spending it on yourself, or even getting a windfall of free time,” says study researcher and Wharton professor Cassie Mogilner.

Start Volunteering in Small Ways

Volunteering Helps Your Career

Even a simple commitment to help young kids at local schools or your fellow students edit papers, or making dinner once a month for those in need will definitely give you an edge in your career and change your life in many ways. All good.

Here’s 5 More Reasons Why Volunteering is a Brilliant Career Move:

1. Volunteering helps you develop new skills

Volunteering is a win-win. You are first and foremost helping others and contributing to your community, and you are also learning new skills and trades at no cost. Perhaps you’ll learn how to cook for 50, design and build homes, or conduct office work you haven’t experienced before.

When employers are going through hundreds of resumes when you are applying for jobs down the road, the ones that stand out are the ones that have a unique story.

Perhaps you spent a summer taking care of animals, or maybe you learned a professional trade that is outside of your major. Bringing multiple and unique skills to the table will get an employer’s attention, and you’ll have a broader range of experience under your belt.

2. It’s good for your health

Want to save money on medical bills? Do good for the community.

Numerous research has shown that volunteering can help you gain a better sense of purpose and decrease isolation which in turn leads to lowered risk of depression and disease.

Instead of focusing on yourself all the time, you get out into a world where you see how some of the rest is living, allowing you to appreciate what you have. Being involved in a community and being social also improves your mental health and helps keep physical ailments at bay.


3. You’ll become a better leader

Washington, D.C. is full of leaders. There’s no better way to learn how to become a great leader than to become involved in your community. Getting on the streets, listening to people’s stories and helping them out is a great way to learn about what is going on socially and economically in people’s lives. And, unlike being at the bottom of the totem poll when you’re interning, you may be put in charge of projects when you’re volunteering, such as running a food or clothing drive or helping orchestrate a fundraiser.

Having that much responsibility forces you to come into your leadership role earlier on in life, giving you more confidence to succeed in those roles when you graduate.

4. It increases your network and boosts your resume

When you volunteer at one or more places, you’ll meet a mixture of people from all walks of life. It will increase your social contacts, and most likely you’ll come into contact with professionals who may be hiring. Credentials aside, networking and showing your dedication and work to service will be a huge turn-on for anyone looking to hire. Someone you volunteered with sophomore year may really have loved working with you and may contact you when you graduate.

In addition, volunteering looks excellent on your resume, and more and more companies now are adding volunteering as a benefit to their employees because the CEOs are seeing its great benefits.

Jump on the bandwagon before you enter the workforce to stay ahead of the game and stand out.

5. You’ll really make a difference

Whether you realize it or not, every person on the planet has a specific purpose and unique gifts to share. Those in need will greatly benefit from you.

They say when you give; you receive back tenfold.

In addition to changing peoples’ lives for the better, you’ll contribute to a better community, and a better world, while discovering wonderful things about yourself along the way. All at absolutely no cost. And, yeah, you’ll feel good.

Want to get started volunteering? Here are some helpful local DC resources:

One Brick: Connects volunteers to work at local events, then adds a social plus by getting them together over dinner.

Volunteer Match DC: Discover thousands of volunteer opportunities in DC

DC Central Kitchen: Combats hunger with recycled food.

Girls on the Run: Love to run? Support girls in 3d — 8th grade use running to develop life skills

Youth Services Opportunities Project Creating engaged citizens through volunteering

Thrive DC: Helping the homeless in the kitchen or at the computer

If 2016 is your year to make that difference, remember, even the smallest person can change the world.

Frodo Baggins changing the world

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