Volunteering: It’s worth your time!
You are already time poor and potentially money poor…I mean you are a student. So why would you volunteer? Well there are many, many advantages to volunteering which makes it very, very much worth your time.
Learn Skills- I think one of the best ways to learn new skills is to put yourself in a new and potentially daunting situation. This can include ‘general skills’ such as public speaking (which I improved through my volunteer position as a netball coach which includes making speeches at presentation nights) or more specific skills such as telephone counselling skills (which I obtained through another organisation I volunteered for). These specific skills will generally be most beneficial if they are relevant to your intended career.
Invaluable CV experience- The end game (for most of us students) is employment- and often that includes a ‘dream job’. To get this illusive job you need to develop an impressive CV/resume. Volunteering looks great! It shows that you are willing to give up your time, it gives you additional experience and skills (see point above), and it can also give you contacts for references.
Meet people- One of my favourite things to do is meet new, interesting people and you will most definitely do this when volunteering. You will meet like-minded people whom you can share your passions with and successful people that can share their motivation and maybe even their secrets to success with you.
Try stuff out- I can thank my volunteering experience for showing me that I am not cut out for, or interested in, being a clinical psychologist. I would not have known this had I not tried out some volunteering counselling. Sitting in a classroom is very different to the real world- so it is important to try out different areas of your field to decide what you like and dislike. This will actually save you time and money.
Give back- You will feel good because you are helping other individuals or organisations.
Have fun- Above all, volunteering is fun- particularly when you are immersing yourself in areas you are passionate about. If you need a selfish reason to volunteer- this is it.