Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Salvation Army volunteers

Five reasons you should consider volunteering

Added on Monday, July 21, 2014

How do you spend your time? In one year, we each have 8,760 hours to utilize. With work, classes, and family time, schedules can easily fill up, but devoting a little time to volunteering yields a whole lot of benefits, especially for those who want to different explore career options.

Whether you recently graduated college, are between careers, or simply have time on your hands, there’s plenty to do and people who need your help. Here are five reasons to give it a shot:

  1. Explore other interests. From college students who are undecided to workforce veterans, volunteering is a smart way to try a new career path. You can find plenty of opportunities in a variety of industries. Choose something that sounds interesting and run with it. When you volunteer on a regular basis, you’ll develop a snapshot of what it takes to work in that field.
  2. Help those who need it. What you’re able to contribute as a volunteer has an impact. It’s often said that any help, no matter how small, makes a difference – even something as simple as organizing a food pantry. That’s one less task that staff needs to do, so they can make sure others are getting the help they need. Spend a little time volunteering and you’re sure to see the fruits of your labor. What can feel better than knowing you helped?
  3. soup kitchen volunteerMeet new people. Working together for a common goal is a great way to build strong, useful relationships with new people. People from all walks of life choose to spend their time volunteering. You never know who you’ll meet. If you’re looking for a job or long-term volunteer opportunity, get to know staff members from a local organization while serving hot meals to homeless people. A bonus to volunteering is that you already have common ground to talk about when you connect with these key people.
  4. Build your resume. It doesn’t matter if you’re new to the job market or have contributed many years to an organization, highlighting your volunteer experience can benefit your career. Volunteering tells potential employers that you take your own initiative, are compassionate and are willing to lend a helping hand. Taking on a leadership position in your volunteer role also demonstrates that you can handle greater responsibilities.
  5. Develop new job skills or improve upon your own. Volunteering is a wonderful, and free, opportunity to gain new skills in either your current career path or a different one. Look for opportunities that fit your needs. For instance, if you would like to gain experience in event planning, volunteer your time to assist the lead event planner with pre-event and day-of preparations. Bonus: You’ll be able to add your new experience to LinkedIn and ask for a recommendation.

Ready to get started? Sign up to volunteer at your local Salvation Army.