How Volunteering Boosts Your Career

For National Volunteer Week, the DWA is exploring the transformative power of volunteering and how it shapes people into well-rounded professionals.  Volunteering isn’t just about doing good deeds.  It can be a strategic step towards enhancing your skill set and developing connections that support your personal and professional growth.

At a basic level, volunteering provides an opportunity to learn new things and develop skills that may not be possible through your current job. Volunteers are regularly asked to take on responsibilities that require leadership, communication, project management, or problem-solving skills. For example, if you lead a team of volunteers for a project, you’ll improve as a leader. Or if you help organize events, you’ll improve your organization and problem-solving skills. Volunteering also introduces you to new perspectives and lived experiences that foster cultural competence, broaden your horizons, and enhance your ability to navigate diverse work environments.

Beyond the immediate impact on skill development, volunteering allows you to meet people who share your values and passions. Whether you collaborate on a project or simply share experiences while volunteering, it provides a solid foundation for developing connections that can lead to new job opportunities, potential mentorships, or helpful advice about succeeding in your career.

While skill development and network building are the more obvious benefits of volunteering, the benefits extend far beyond personal and professional growth. By volunteering, you’re contributing to the betterment of your community and playing an important role in making it a better place to live, work, and play. This creates a ripple effect that leads to more vibrant and resilient communities that support opportunities for growth and develop innovative approaches to addressing social, economic and labour market challenges.

Embracing the volunteering spirit paves the way for a brighter future, both personally and professionally.  As you embark on your volunteer journey, consider what skills and connections you’d like to develop.  United Way Durham Region maintains a database of volunteer opportunities and is a great place to explore local options for getting started as a volunteer; it can be found here.  No matter what you choose to do, know that you’ll be making a positive difference in your community while working towards becoming a more well-rounded and successful candidate for your chosen career.