Today marks the beginning of National Student Volunteering Week, an initiative to get students out into the world, boosting their CV and equipping them with life-long skills. This got us thinking, volunteering is one of the most beneficial and rewarding activities one can undertake, and not just as an extracurricular activity as you attempt to take that first leap onto the career ladder. Don’t believe us? The facts below highlight exactly why you should be volunteering:
It’s Good For You Health
Studies have found that when you stop thinking about your own problems and focus on someone other than yourself, your stress levels start to decrease, your immune system is strengthened and your overall sense of life satisfaction increases. This is because helping someone else interrupts tension-producing patterns and replaces it with a sense of purpose, positive emotions and high confidence levels.
What ever stage you’re at in your professional life, volunteering shows your dedicated, motivated and always looking for ways to improve yourself.
It helps you create a positive impression, makes you more innovative, creative and gives you a range of useful skills.
In an article on the state of recruitment in 2015, it was found that recruiters rank volunteer participation higher than personal presentation, political affiliations and spelling and grammar errors when looking at a candidate’s social presence. The British Council also released a study centred entirely around how international experience benefits individuals and employers.
Learn New Skills
So just what are the reasons that makes employers love volunteers so much?
Employers love a candidate with a range of soft skills and luckily, volunteering gives you plenty of those. You are faced with problems on a daily basis, you have to deal with a mix of personalities and all while adjusting to life outside of your comfort zone. This all adds up and helps to improve your teamwork, leadership, problem-solving and people skills.
The reasons really are endless…..
- Gain confidence. Volunteering can help you gain confidence by giving you the chance to try something new and build a real sense of achievement.
- Make a difference. Volunteering can have a real and valuable positive affect on people, communities and society in general.
- Meet people.Volunteering can help you meet different kinds of people and make new friends.
- Be part of a community. Volunteering can help you feel part of something outside your friends and family.
- Take on a challenge. Through volunteering you can challenge yourself to try something different, achieve personal goals, practice using your skills and discover hidden talents.
- Have fun! Most volunteers have a great time, regardless of why they do it.