Some of us might think that volunteering is plain hard work with no money in return for our efforts. However, those involved in volunteer organisations or activities might disagree. Voluntary work is not always financially rewarding. In fact, you gain many benefits, aside from leaving a valuable mark by helping others.
Volunteering improves more than just your organisational skills. Here are five outstanding skills you can learn just by volunteering:
If you want to become a successful leader, learning from volunteering is the best way to start. When you volunteer, you will have to work with people from different backgrounds, cultures, and personalities. You will have to be accommodating and ready to help. These are all the skills you need to become a great leader.
Many volunteers with no background in leadership take up leadership roles as they understand teamwork and the responsibilities involved in manning teams. Exemplary volunteers are often put in charge of other volunteers. As such, they have to learn to deal with people diplomatically, resolve conflict, and strategise for the team’s ultimate success.
If you can rally a team of unpaid volunteers, it gives you more confidence to lead a team not just because of your position but also because of your leadership skill.
2. Proper Time Management
Volunteering means giving your time freely, and this is an excellent way of learning to manage time well. Proper time management is probably one of the most desired qualities employers look for in their leadership team, and volunteerism is an exemplary way to enhance this skill.
Just being able to volunteer despite keeping a job, studies and other commitments is a good exercise to learn and improve your time management capabilities. You’ll learn when to say “yes” and when to say “no,” as you gain more experience and insight on setting priorities to promptly meet desired goals.
3. Conflict Resolution
Being a successful volunteer requires negotiating with others and diplomatically handling your disagreements and other conflicts. Some of your coworkers may come from diverse backgrounds, bringing various perspectives to the table. If you want to progress in your career, you’ll need to learn conflict resolution to protect your team’s synergy.
You will also learn how to navigate carefully to meet the different needs of your co-volunteers and the people you are serving, striking a balance between meeting goals while keeping the team’s morale.
Moreover, volunteering allows you to learn how to solve problems as you resolve issues and try to avoid them in the future. You will also have to face other challenges that you will have to overcome.
When you volunteer, you will be working with other volunteers, and you will have to work together to achieve a specific goal. In most cases, the goal is to help others in need. You will notice that your teamwork skills improve over time because working as a team requires a lot of coordination and cooperation.
Moreover, you will learn to respect other people and give them their due credit, genuinely accommodating and accepting another’s point of view. Remember that your idea will not always be the best. It takes humility to be a team player, and volunteerism is a good training ground.
When you volunteer, you will learn to empathise with people more since your main goal is to help others. You will be able to understand what the people you are trying to help are going through, even if you haven’t experienced their situation.
Because of this, you will be more open to listening to people and their concerns. Volunteering will help you develop the skills you need to be more compassionate, and it will also teach you how to react to people with kindness and generosity.
The Bottom Line
Volunteering is a great way to impact the community and, at the same time, open doors for yourself in the future. As you give your time to help others, you also learn how to be a leader, properly manage your time, and be a team player. You also learn how to negotiate demands, overcome conflicts, and be empathetic to your team.
What are you waiting for? If you have the time, volunteer today!
Are you interested in volunteering in a hospital? Partner with Volunteering Solutions. We are an international organisation and, for the last 12 years, have been offering meaningful and inexpensive volunteer opportunities & international internships. We have 150+ projects, including childcare, teaching, wildlife, medical volunteering & more. Submit your application or contact us for more information.