Why Volunteer? Few Reasons to Consider

by Felix Prayogo

So, after you know what is volunteering, you still wondering, what will I get from giving away my free time and resources for something that’s free? Well, when you volunteer, you will get lots of benefit. You might not get salary or money to compensate with, but here are some of the reasons why you should volunteer.

  1. Volunteer live longer and healthier.Yep, you read that right. Volunteer tends to live longer and healthier than those who are non-volunteer. Dawn C. Carr, assistant professor at Florida University, said that “older people who volunteer remain physically functional longer, have more robust psychological well-being and live longer.” She also mentioned that these older people are those who are already did some volunteering when they were young, and some of them still doing it post-retirement. Also, for those of you who like numbers, United Health Care did a study in 2013 on people who volunteered in the past 12 months and found that 76 percent of them feel healthier, 94 percent said that it improve their mood, 80 percent said they have control over your body and 78 percent said that volunteering lover their stress levels. So, volunteering made you not only physically, but also mentally healthier.
  2. Volunteering is good for your career. Yes, it’s good for your career. For you who still studying in university or college, volunteering will help you in the eyes of recruiters. United Health Care, in the same study as above, found that 49 percent of those who are working and volunteering said that volunteering helped with their career in the paid job market. By volunteering, you will get a new experience, especially on practical work that recruiters usually need on their way to look for employees. Those are teamwork and several skills that are needed for the job you applying. You can also understand how to work directly because sometimes there are things that not been taught in classes and you can get it through volunteering. After working, the effect of volunteering also helped people to grow their career. 87 percent of those who said that volunteering helped their career, also said that volunteering developed their people and teamwork skills. 75 percent of the same people also said that it helped them with their time management. Volunteering can help improve your career skills.
  3. Volunteering help bring out your passion. Usually, you know what to do, or what you like to do. You probably like to meet lots of people and talking to them. You might like to teach children. You like to help people in needs. But you don’t get the space or place to do so. By volunteering, you can do what you want. You can volunteer as teacher for those who are still illiterate. You can talk with people in needs, motivate them to do well or to do things. You can help elderly in nursing house and hear their stories. It brings happiness out of you. You can also volunteer to give contribution to some issues you support. You can volunteer to plant trees at specific places as you are environmentalist, or you can volunteer as veterinarian to help animals adapting to their own habitat, etc. It can make you feel satisfied, as you are fulfilling something you encourage.
  4. Volunteering helps expanding your network. When you are volunteering, you meet lots of people from various background. Carr said that you might find people outside of your circle. Your friend inside your circle or in the same network as yours probably provide redundant information as they are doing the same activities and know the same people as you do. By volunteering, you expand your network to new people and new interests that these new people have. From there, you can get more option to continue your life, as lots of choices are given by people from your own circle and also from people you met when volunteering. That’s why volunteering might help you with your network.

There are lots of other reason that you might find inside yourself. So think deeply, what will I get if I volunteer? Is it for my present? Or for my future? More than just money or salary (which you won’t get anyway), there are lots of thing to explore for you while volunteering.