1. You’ll meet inspiring people
Homelessness is a massive epidemic, and it’s not all due to personal faults. Many people have backstories behind why they’re homeless, and many times they’re inspiring and help us remain grateful for what we have. When volunteering, you’ll be able to connect with amazing people and form lifelong friendships. By being kind to others and listening to what the homeless have to say, you could have an enormous impact on their life, too.
2. Personal growth
As a continuation of the above, when you volunteer at a homeless shelter whether it’s for two weeks or six months, you’ll experience personal growth like no other. Typical office or retail jobs can test our patience but being surrounded by people who are grateful for your service and time of day will help you appreciate life as it is. Volunteering can help one change their perspective on life quite a bit.
3. Learning a new skill
Volunteering doesn’t require any particular set of skills although you could learn a thing or two when you do volunteer. Whether you’re lending your time to help cook and serve the homeless or helping them learn in a class setting, you can learn to work with people who are hungry or looking to make a change. You can learn how to cook, and you can learn how to problem solve. Last but not least, you can always learn to be a better listener through volunteering jobs.
4. Reduce depression
Through studies of volunteers at churches, it has been proven that helping others sets off a rewarding signal in one's brain that helps relieve depression and reduces stress. By having gratitude shown toward you, you feel better about yourself knowing that you’ve contributed to making someone happy. Positive actions help dopamine levels rise.
5. Giving is good for your health
Giving and volunteering have actually been proven to be better for your overall health and make you live longer. In a 1999 study by the University of California Berkeley, seniors were studied over a period of time. It was proven that 44% were less likely to die within a five-year period than their non-volunteering counterparts. This was after smoking, age, exercise, and general health were taken into account. Pretty incredible what positivity can do for the world, huh?
6. You can learn about the organization
When volunteering, you find out more about how the company operates behind closed doors. Are the volunteers and employees happy? What is the culture like? If the atmosphere is enthusiastic and welcoming, this may be an organization you want to join.
7. Find out your development career potential
Because nonprofits are a part of the development niche of careers, one who volunteers can see if they’re fit for a development career. While the job may not always be fun, it can be very rewarding. By volunteering, one can see if this nonprofit has a desirable development department. If not, many other nonprofits have different vibes and experiences. It’s important not to believe that all nonprofits are alike because you may be disappointed.
8. Learning to network
For people who love helping, but don’t understand how to put themselves out there, volunteering at a nonprofit is a great way to network. In most cases, people are much nicer because some are lending their time willingly, and you typically meet tons of people every day since volunteering requires working with others daily. Networking no longer has to be a daunting task and is an excellent way to build up your resume and references. This is another major pro to working with a nonprofit organization. It shows that you care about the positive effects on the community.
9. Get a job after volunteering
Nonprofits typically have internal hiring done, unlike for-profit organizations. After one volunteer's, they become known to hiring managers. If a job opening arises, these hiring managers can have an immediate look at how well you perform. The better you do and the stronger impact you have as a volunteer, the more likely you can have a guaranteed job opportunity with the company.
10. Gain new experience and skills
With any job, you’ll be able to identify your weak points. When you regularly work with people constantly in a way that helps them, you learn different improvement opportunities than you would with a food service job or a retail job. By pinpointing these specific points, you can work on them every day and gain new skills. Because of the fresh situations, you may encounter during your first volunteer position, and you’ll be able to expand your skill sets on a resume.