1. Get work-related experience
It’s a chance for you to polish transferable skills many employers are looking for: interpersonal, communication, team work, problem solving, adaptability and time management skills.
- Skills learned through volunteering can make you more desirable to potential employers —putting you ahead of your peers in the job market.
- 66% of volunteers claim that their volunteer activities have provided them with interpersonal skills, such as understanding and motivating people or being better able to handle difficult situations. (Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2007)
2. Learn new skills or share existing skills
Consider a position where you can learn new skills while strengthening existing ones.
- 77% of volunteers reported they are motivated to volunteer to make use of their personal skills and experiences. (Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2007)
3. Explore an occupation or industry
Exploring a new career through volunteering can give you a better understanding of the rewards and challenges involved, as well as the positions available.
4. Expand your connections
Meeting people and making new friends can potentially connect you with other contacts and career opportunities. Additionally, other volunteers or staff can become references for future positions.
- 48% of volunteers reported that they volunteered to network and meet new people, while 28% of volunteers reported that they volunteered in hopes of improving job opportunities. (Canada Survey of Giving, Volunteering and Participating, 2007)
5. Get to know yourself
What are your values, skills, goals and interests? Knowing yourself is crucial towards your overall satisfaction and well-being.
6. Build confidence and self-esteem
Helping others leads to a greater sense of self-worth and accomplishment. Doing something that makes you feel active, productive, and useful can increase your confidence.
- 80% of volunteers feel that their confidence in their abilities has increased through engaging in volunteer activities. (Valuing Volunteering: A Route to Professional Development, January 2006)
7. Pursue a personal interest
Take a break from the everyday and do something different. Pursuing a personal interest or hobby can give you a break from your routine to create balance and add an extra dose of fun to your life.
8. Improve your health
Volunteering is associated with a wide range of social benefits and with physical and mental health rewards. Volunteering strengthens your social ties that will provide support and alleviate stress during difficult times.
- Research demonstrates that volunteers have lower mortality rates, greater functional ability, and lower rates of depression later in life than those who do not volunteer. (Public Health Agency of Canada)
Last updated: October 25, 2010