Why Volunteering is Good for You?
After being a bit monothematic ;) and covering a topic of getting a job, let us stray a bit and move into the topics of career development. In the next few paragraphs I will try to show you one way of developing your career. Naturally, for each of you career path is always slightly different, and no single solution can be presented that would fit everyone, but hopefully this article will convince you to consider choosing the way covered in the next paragraphs.
The path I would like to propose to you is volunteering…
Let me make a small interception now: I especially recommend CFA Society Switzerland as a place to volunteer. You will be warmly welcomed among us and you may expect a very wide offer of volunteering activities that will feel very satisfying afterwards. So do not waste your time contact us and become our society volunteer. And with that… back to article.
Below I am presenting a few arguments why volunteering is good for your career:
You learn new things.
When you volunteer (even if you are a finance specialist and volunteer for CFA Society Switzerland) you are rarely doing something even remotely connected to your daily job. On the contrary, you are doing things you have never done before. You face way different problems then during your 9-to-5 and you need to come up with various solutions. In this way you develop new skills and learn about things that you cannot learn in your regular job. Who knows, maybe volunteering will help you develop your management and leadership skills or maybe you will be able to test yourself as a writer/journalist. In my case, as a chairman of the Careers Committee, I am continuously learning how to bring people together to achieve common goals and as a member of Candidates Committee, I could test myself in advising candidates on how to go about their next exam attempt. I also got a chance to test my presentation skills in front of the Board of the CFA Society Switzerland and this is just a peak of the iceberg.
You develop self-discipline.
Until a certain stage of your career, there will be always someone telling you what to do and when, which may be comfortable for some as it then does not require planning for yourself, but it may cause problems later on, when you not only have to set up your work schedule yourself but you also have to schedule other people’s work. Volunteering helps greatly develop self-discipline in advance. While you volunteer nobody will tell you what you should do (after all you are not paid for that, so it is not really a ‘hard obligation’), but to be a successful volunteer you have to come across as a reliable person and you have to get things done in the end. This means you have to learn to manage yourself and this may come handy also at work. I am doing that among others, through making these articles happen every month for some time already ;).
You get to know new people
Doing your regular work exposes you to a certain type of people. You see them everyday and sometimes you are quite fed up with them ;). Volunteering enables you to meet completely new and different people that come from different backgrounds and have different skills. This is thus, a great networking opportunity. In addition, it may get you to be nicer to work colleagues after all your share of exposure to the same people will get limited so it will be harder to get tired of a certain bunch ;).
You indicate to your employer that you are more than just another nine-to-fiver
Every now and again your employer will promote someone to the higher position while others have to wait for their round. It is not so easy to get yourself to stand out from the crowd. Essentially, your employer would not employ anyone not capable to do the job. Thus, by doing your job you are not being anyone special and actually, sometimes doing more for the same price may work to your detriment (why to promote someone who does more for less?), but doing something outside your job in your private hours proves that you are motivated to do more and that you are quite flexible in what you do. Moreover, it may also show your employer that you are already well acquainted with potentially similar tasks that you would get if you get promoted. In addition, if you are good at what you are doing, it may make your employer fear that you build up your connections and that someone that see your performance as a volunteer may want to get you to their company. This could result in higher appreciation of you by your employer.
These few reasons why volunteering is good for your career are not the only ones. It would be quite easy to fill the whole book with different reasons and each and every volunteer will point to different ones. I hope, this article has convinced you to go, have a try in volunteering and see for yourself how quickly you can grow by becoming a volunteer. It is all very easy, you just have to start.