We all say it, “I’m too busy for that,” or “It’s been a crazy week, I haven’t had a minute to myself.” Trust me, as a recent college graduate I’ve said these sentences more than I’d like to admit. Which is why I think it’s so difficult for people to find the energy and time to volunteer. You just had a hectic 40+ hour week, you probably want to plop yourself on the couch and binge watch Netflix all weekend.
Well, what if I told you volunteering could be good for business and furthering your career. Now don’t get me wrong, you should initially start volunteering because you are passionate about a cause and want to help make a difference. However, just because you are helping others does not mean you can’t benefit from it as well.
From Volunteering to Team Bonding
Volunteering is the perfect team bonding exercise for coworkers. It’s a great atmosphere for coworkers to hangout outside of work while giving back to their community. When employees feel more comfortable in their work environment and get along with the people they work with, they’re more likely to stay with that company longer and produce higher quality work.
From Volunteering to Networking
As important as it is to build up existing relationships in business, it is just as important to create new ones. Volunteering can assist with this as well. You never know who you are going to meet at a soup kitchen or picking up garbage on the beach. You could begin chatting with a fellow volunteer, start talking about what you do for a living and suddenly you found a new job opportunity that you otherwise would have never known about.
From Volunteering to Relaxing
I don’t know about you, but when I’m helping others I feel a huge wave of happiness that makes the little stressors from the week seem so insignificant. When you take a minute to step back from your own problems and realize you really don’t have it that bad, it makes you appreciate life more. By reducing stress and being a happier person, it starts to show in your work. You feel more energized and are more productive during the week.
These are only a few of the many benefits of volunteering that I’ve experienced that can help further your career. Don’t be afraid to get out of your comfort zone, that’s when you experience the most personal growth. Whether you’re passionate about helping animals, children, the environment or anything else that peaks your interest, there are always amazing non-profits right in your community looking for some extra hands.