The root of the word volunteer comes from the Latin volantarius – of one’s free will. When you choose to donate your valuable time to a cause or project you love, you don’t usually expect to get anything back. But, surprisingly, volunteering can end up rewarding the giver as much as the receiver, and is often overlooked as a path to career development and new opportunities. Here are the three top reasons why volunteering is a career-boosting activity:
- Volunteering expands your network and your skills.
Expand your network beyond the people you know by joining a working group or steering committee, or organizing a professional event. You will get the chance to meet new people and develop your public speaking, leadership, organizational, or second language skills.
- Volunteering builds your confidence.
Volunteering to support a committee or project development group is a safe way to test the waters in a new industry or try to tackle a new role without risking your professional position. And succeeding at something new is always a confidence-booster.
- Volunteering gives you experience.
Volunteer experience is always an excellent addition to your resume, and may give you added leverage when trying to make the move to a new sector. Volunteering to work with a group intent on publishing a paper or report will give a sense of accomplishment and teamwork.