Updated: Aug 10, 2019
I recently volunteered my time to help an organization facilitate with their strategic planning. While I've done my share of volunteering here and there, I'm not as consistent with it as I'd like to be. I'm working on it... It was such a powerful experience and it reminded me how important it is to give back in whatever way you can to something you believe in.
Beyond the feel good nature of giving back, there are tons of awesome benefits. Here are a few:
It gives us a sense of purpose beyond ourself.
It reminds us of how fortunate we are.
It teaches valuable social and relationship skills.
It's great for your personal development.
It's wonderful for your resume.
It's fantastic networking and connects you with like minded people.
It brings us fulfillment.
It increases our sense of happiness.
It gets you to think about what issues/causes are important to you.
You get exposed to different industries/organizations.
It empowers us to make a difference.
I can go on and on about why it's an amazing idea to volunteer. There are so many options out there and I hope you're inspired to take action and join something. This particular organization, Forward Foundation, their mission is "To provide young adults who are terminally ill with meaningful end of life experiences that encourage connection." I'm sure you can imagine how emotional and powerful volunteering for an organization like this would be. On top it all, it was started and inspired by Chris Cayford, who for the final months of his life, devoted all his energy to create and leave such an impactful legacy. It was amazing to be surrounded by super passionate, purposeful and determined group. It was an honour to facilitate their meetings and to be given the chance to play a small part of helping them achieve such a worthy cause. Volunteering has impacted me in immeasurable and wonderful ways. Whether it was going to Ethiopia, helping TAFCOM in Tanzania, everytime I volunteer, I'm reminded about how many amazing people give back to the world. It gives me hope in humanity. It's inspiring and it's wonderful to experience. I definitely recommend doing it!
As a Recruiter, I always scanned a resume for Volunteer Experience. I'm obviously biased because I think it's a worthwhile endeavour. When I see that someone volunteers, it signals to me a sense of civic duty and global responsibility that I value and admire. Automatically, I have the tendency to respect and like the candidate and applicant more. When you have only 1-2 pages to try and assess what a person is like, Volunteer Experience is an amazing window to they might be. It's a little clue to who they are and what they think is important.
For your personal and professional development, volunteering is one of the best ways to get experience in a variety of different organizations while showcasing a phlethora of skills. Not only will it be enriching for your mind, body and soul, it might just be that lil extra push that you needed to get your foot in the door and get invited for an interview! So why not give back to the world but beef up your resume and skills!
Actionable Activity: Research a cause/issue/organization that you think is worthwhile. Learn what needs they have and see what options and opportunities you connect with. Then try it out and see how amazing you feel!