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August 14, 2012 / mike54martin

Volunteering: Who knew it was good for your career too?

Every year millions of Canadians volunteer their time and energy to help support their communities. Almost 50 percent of all Canadians volunteer on a regular basis that adds up to over two billion volunteer hours. Volunteering is a good thing because it allows people to give something back to the community but volunteering can also be a great way to get ahead in your career.

There are a number of ways that volunteering is good for your career. The first is through networking and visibility because volunteering lets you build and expand your existing network and to increase your visibility in the community through organizations like the Rotary or Lions club. You can use your volunteer time to make connections with the leaders in these organizations who are also likely senior people in local companies and businesses. Through these people and others you will meet in your volunteer activities you can build and grow your contact list.

Volunteering can also help your skills and leadership development by giving you exposure to a range of activities that you would never ordinarily have in your day-to-day job. Things like fundraising for example. You get to practice these skills in a low stress, low risk environment and learn from others the best ways to carry out these activities. You can improve your leadership skills by volunteering to serve on a local organization’s board of directors or to chair one of the various committees of their board.

No one volunteers to specifically find a new job but you can learn a lot about other jobs and organizations and industries through your volunteer networking. You can also add your volunteer experience to your resume to assist when you do start looking for a new job or career. Volunteering can also help you become a more balanced individual and that can only assist you in performing at a higher level in your current job. There is a great personal satisfaction in volunteering your time and it will likely make you happier and give you more confidence.

And if you are happier you will likely live longer as well. One recent study showed that the combination of physical and cognitive work in volunteering is conducive to better health and a longer than expected life expectancy. If you haven’t already tried volunteering you are in for a real treat. It’s fun, it’s good for you and your community, and it just might help your career.

This post first appeared on my blog at http://www.jobs.ca

Mike Martin is a writer and the author of The Walker on the Cape, a mystery novel set in Grand Bank, NL. http://www.walkeronthecape.com

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3 Comments

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  1. gold account / Sep 2 2012 10:51 pm

    Volunteering abroad will provide the same benefits as all volunteer work including career development, flexibility and networking. In addition to these benefits, it will also provide cultural immersion within the community visited. It is also an affordable way to travel and a way to make a difference in the lives of others all over the world.

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