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By chipping in with even the smallest task you can make a real difference to people’s lives.
You may have heard it said how invaluable and appreciated volunteers are to the organisations, people and animals that they help. Volunteers give up some of their time and skills for free, driven by a desire to help others, but what are the non-monetary benefits for the volunteers themselves?
The most fun and rewarding placement will most likely be one that matches your goals, personality and interests and that you are capable of doing. It’s important that you have a positive, open minded attitude and that your commitment matches the need.
Volunteering can provide you with valuable self-help and support at difficult times in your life. You may be searching for employment or retired with spare time, feeling stuck or wanting to find a new pathway forward in your life or career. You might have suffered the bereavement of a loved one or perhaps you are feeling lonely, isolated, depressed or anxious. Perhaps none of these apply and you simply want feel happy doing something to make the world a better place.
Job seekers might not want to give their skills away for free when their top priority is to find paid work. Surely it will take time away that could be used for job searching? Don’t under-value this CV boosting resource to help get you back into employment or even to provide the idea, inspiration and motivation to start your own small business.
Volunteering can be a good confidence booster by having your efforts, skills and experience appreciated. Especially if unemployment has affected your self-esteem. You can try out new areas of work or you can seek a placement for a specific job you are interested in. You will gain new contacts and many volunteer placements provide valuable training too.
If you are feeling sorry for yourself there is no better antidote than to help others in need, and you can therefore help yourself to combat stress, anxiety and depression. You can take your mind off your worries, finding a strong sense of purpose and have fun too. You can forge new friendships with other likeminded people with common interests.
Not all of us have naturally outgoing personalities and there are many benefits if you are shy or introverted. The opportunity to ‘get out of the house’ and improve social and communication skills by connecting with new people with a shared commitment and purpose.
In my own work as a Pathway Mentor and Coach I help my clients turn their goals and dreams into a practical achievable plan. We explore new possibilities and I inspire and motivate them whilst holding them accountable for agreed actions as they move forward.
To get different results and feel differently about your lives or career it is necessary to do something differently. I recommend volunteering as it provides a safe environment in which you can move out of your Comfort Zone into your Stretch or Learning Zone and experience a different perspective on your own life through helping others.
Jason Cornes. Pathway Mentor and Coach