Volunteering provides many opportunities to learn and grow personally and as a professional
The following article is published as part of the Career Month, featuring advice from Volunteer Manitoba.
Volunteering provides opportunities to learn more about ourselves and our community. For students and young adults, volunteering can help to learn about different career paths, and develop useful skills.
Many volunteer opportunities can provide students with a head-start in their professional lives as employers look for potential employees who demonstrate adaptability to new environments, and willingness to learn new skills. The individual benefits of volunteering are significant – one can discover new skills, talents and interests; learn team-building, leadership and problem solving; become part of the inside track of an organization; and network to build future employment and professional references.
Within a broader community framework, the benefits of volunteering are: to work with others to accomplish change, to improve the lives of others and to create a sustainable, vibrant community. Examples of volunteering that strengthen community life include health and social services, sports and recreation, arts and culture, literacy, the environment, human rights and international development.
Volunteering is a social activity that provides many paths to interact with a wide range of people. To volunteer is to be in contact with people who have a wide variety of skills and personalities from all walks of life. They can be a part of your professional network and connect you to all sorts of exciting opportunities.
Volunteering is a way to challenge yourself to work with new people in new surroundings. These experiences provide opportunities for better self-knowledge, resilience, and ability to communicate effectively. What is more, new challenges in a volunteer setting can be met without the fear of financial or career repercussions. Learning new skills in a supportive environment helps to grow one’s skills set and confidence.
In addition to developing professional skills, another important aspect of volunteering is developing soft skills. Positivity, authenticity and confidence come from your daily contact with people. Positivity comes from your personal contributions to make your community better. Confidence builds as you discover that you are an important link between people, and these soft skills gain the trust and confidence of your co-workers and professional network.
Volunteer Manitoba is proud to promote and encourage volunteerism to all Manitobans. We provide information, training and resources for volunteers, non-profit organizations and charities. Our vital contributions to the community include connecting people with volunteering opportunities, promoting volunteerism, and providing leadership and counsel in the voluntary sector. We are committed to supporting individuals and groups as they develop and enhance their capacity to meet community needs in the province.
As part of Career Month, Volunteer Manitoba is pleased to be partnering with Career Services for our annual Volunteer Recruitment Fair, which takes place in UMSU University Centre on November 27 from 10:00 am to 2:00 pm. Volunteer Manitoba will also be delivering a presentation on the benefits of volunteerism at 11:00 am. Register for the presentation on careerCONNECT.
For more information about Volunteer Manitoba, and to access the database of online volunteer opportunities, please visit www.volunteermanitoba.ca