When we were in high school, we thought about volunteering for various reasons – mainly for community service hours and for building our resumes for an array of applications as we approached our senior year. But, what changes as we become professionals? What’s our incentive to continue to volunteer? How will it help our growth, both professionally and personally?
Volunteering past the secondary and/or post-secondary level can be an enriching and rewarding experience. It can be both personally gratifying and also serve as a significant asset, as professionals. It opens a networking platform that allows us to engage with experts and reputed professionals within our fields of interest.
Volunteering also allows us to widen our social circles, allowing us to connect and learn about professionals from various other disciplines, who may become invaluable contacts in the future. This exposure can enlighten us with new ideas and concepts that may even spark a new area of interest.
Various transferrable skills can also be learnt and enhanced through volunteering, such as communication, interpersonal skills and time management. These skills will not only serve as benefits in the professional realm, but also in our personal lives as well. Self-confidence and self-esteem are also other invaluable gains that can propel growth in both realms. It allows us to become well-rounded professional individuals, that may be more of an ideal candidate for future employers.
Last but not least, volunteering is engaging, fun and fulfilling! It can help us discover hidden talents and pursue interests that might not have been a part of our day-to-day lives. It also builds and strengthens ties with our community, enhancing our sense of belonging and developing a strong support system.
Remember, “There’s nothing stronger than the heart of a volunteer.” – James Doolittle
Contributed by Jathishinie Jegathisawaran
Jathishinie has her undergraduate and master’s degrees from Canada and Australia, respectively. Having a passion for scientific advancement and health research, her work encompasses clinical trial development to economic evaluations of health care interventions. She enjoys active and healthy lifestyle and in her spare time, likes baking, water aerobics and yoga along with an interest in fashion and photography.