6 Reasons People Volunteer

What is Volunteer work? And more importantly, what’s the point?!?  Volunteer work is any job that you do without being paid, some people ask, “Why on earth would I want to work for free, when I can go out there and get a paying job?”  According to the Canadian Centre for Philanthropy, 1 out of every 3 people in British Columbia over the age of 15 has volunteered their time to a charity or non-profit organization.  So why do people volunteer if they aren’t being paid?

1.  Learning Something New

Learning about a new subject or way of doing business is a benefit of volunteering. Most non-profit societies have a specific focus. (e.g. Cancer Societies, Boys and Girls Clubs, Environmental Societies, Seniors Centres).  You can learn tons of stuff just by spending time working with a group of experts in their specific field.

2.  Valuable Experience

Volunteer work is a great way to gain valuable experience for your resume. The cool thing about volunteering is that often you will get training in new skills, and it actually counts as work experience on your resume. Volunteering can also show commitment and motivation to a potential employer.

3.  Networking

Giving back to your community is a great way to start networking. Many of the people, who volunteer for one organization, are also involved in other organizations. It’s a great feeling to know you are a part of a bigger network of socially involved people; people who may hire you in the future.

4.  Show Who You Are

Volunteering is an opportunity to be true to your personal values and beliefs. It’s one thing to say what you believe in, but volunteering is a way to really show people what is important to you, and how hard you are willing to work to achieve a goal or a dream.

5.  Build Self-Confidence

Volunteering builds your self-confidence. Sound cheesy? Maybe… but the fact is, the more skills and experience you have, the more confident you will feel!

6.  Experiment

Volunteering helps you figure out what things you like doing and… maybe not so much. There are good parts and bad parts at every job. Find out if the good parts at the job you are interested in outweigh the bad parts, or if the bad parts are bad enough to make the job not so much fun anymore!

Whatever your reason for volunteering is – just do it!  Next week we will talk about where you should volunteer.

For more information about volunteering visit:

This article was submitted by career development practitioner Kirsty Peterson.  It was originally written for the BC Workinfonet Youth Site and is reposted here with permission.
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