Wisdom Wednesday: Volunteering…What’s in it for me?

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We often talk about volunteering in terms of the positive impact we can make on our communities, but another approach in thinking about whether or not to get involved is: “What’s in it for me?” While it may seem like a self-centered question in a field that revolves around giving back to others, it’s a logical question. Fortunately, we have good news: volunteering has many benefits!

Succeed in School– Service-learning holds the potential to increase the attendance and engagement of students in classrooms and schools. It also engages students in classroom learning in ways that foster academic achievement and increase motivation to learn. Service-learning can also help to address underlying causes of low graduation rates, while incorporating the strategies most recommended for preventing students from dropping out.

Land Your Dream Job– A report by The Corporation for National and Community Service reveals that those that volunteer have a 27 percent better chance of finding a job than those who don’t. An additional study from the Center for Economic and Policy Research supports this claim, noting that unemployed people who volunteer between 20 and 99 hours during the year are roughly 7 percent more likely to have found employment one year later compared to those who don’t volunteer. Volunteering helps you build your experience, expand your network, and gain knowledge needed to switch fields.

Excel in the Workplace – Volunteerism allows individuals to develop key skills that are essential to success in the workforce. These skills include: leadership, communications, fundraising/business development, patience, problem solving, public speaking, and coaching/mentoring, among others.

Stay Happy and HealthyResearch conducted by UnitedHealth Group reveals that volunteers are more likely than non-volunteers to consider themselves in excellent or very good health, and they are more likely to say that their health has improved over the past 12 months. There is also a strong connection between volunteering and mental/emotional health: doing good helps us to stress less, and less stress is an important component to staying healthy.

Ready to improve your life? The GOAL Center will now be hosting monthly volunteer opportunities aimed at helping you engage with the community, increase your employability, and enhance your resume! Contact us for more information. Happy volunteering!

 

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