Volunteering - Is it Worth It?
We’ve all heard the phrase “time is money”. But what happens when you give up your time for free? It may seem counterintuitive, but volunteering can actually help to increase your skills and knowledge. It’s a great way to gain experience in the field of work you are interested in and often looks good on your resume. So, should you volunteer to build your skills? Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of volunteering.
Why You Should Volunteer
Volunteering offers a lot of potential benefits. For one, it gives you the opportunity to gain valuable experience that can help jumpstart your career or further develop existing skills. Plus, when employers see that you volunteered for an organization or cause, they perceive it as a sign of initiative and dedication--qualities that will set you apart from other job applicants. Additionally, volunteering can help expand your network by connecting with people who share similar interests and passions as yours. And lastly, the feeling of helping out or making a difference in someone else's life is priceless!
Why You Shouldn't Volunteer
This isn't to say, however, that there aren't any downsides to volunteering. Depending on how much time and energy you put into it, volunteering can be very demanding – both mentally and physically – so make sure you have enough resources (like physical energy) before deciding if this type of commitment is right for you at this moment in time. Also keep in mind that while many organizations offer training opportunities and certifications associated with their volunteer positions, this isn't always the case; some organizations are more focused on getting the work done than providing education opportunities for volunteers. Lastly, some volunteer positions generally are not paid - meaning you can't list it as paid experience on your resume - which could be seen as a disadvantage by some potential employers who prefer to see paid experience only on resumes.
All things considered, whether or not volunteering is worth it depends largely on individual circumstances; if you have enough free time available and feel passionate about the cause/organization then chances are volunteering could be beneficial for both parties involved. Just make sure to do your research beforehand so that you know what kind of expectations come with each position and if there are any hidden costs associated with them (for example transportation/training fees). At the end of the day though remember that even without gaining tangible benefits like certifications or money, giving back never goes unnoticed by those who benefit from it most!