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To Volunteer Or Not To Volunteer: That Is The Question

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By Edited Sep 25, 2016 0 2

 

I've done some volunteer work in the past and in this article I'm going to outline the pros and cons of volunteer work. So, if you're thinking about doing some volunteering and you're looking for more information, you're at the right place.

One of my most memorable volunteering experiences was volunteering for an environmental organization in Montreal that takes care of all the recycling at big events. It was a really interesting experience. One benefit is that people at these volunteering gigs are not judgemental. They're good people who share your values. You feel safe around these people.

A second benefit I have found is that it will give your social life a good boost. Sure, you might not see the other volunteers outside of where you volunteer, but it's always so refreshing to meet like-minded individuals and chit chat about something you both have in common. For example, for me, I had a passion for the environment and that organization naturally attracted other people who had a passion for the environment. So it was a lot of fun to learn more about my passion from these great people.

Now, I'd like to bring up a disadvantage... It's work just like a real job and a lot of people don't like to work. Regardless of how you volunteer, it won't always be fun... unless you find a really cool volunteering gig like playing pool/billiards or sailing. Otherwise, it takes a lot out of you to contribute to your community through volunteer work. It takes time and energy. Only you can decide if it's worth it.

Additionally, unless you're trying to become a doctor, I believe that volunteer work on a resume is overrated. Potential employers would likely prefer actual work experience in your field(as in salaried work).

Another disadvantage is that if you're tight on cash right now, you obviously won't be making money through volunteer work. However, there are always the rare volunteer opportunities that will give you a little money to thank you for helping out.

All in all though, I think the best part of volunteering is the relationships you will be building with new people. You never know who you'll meet through your volunteer work and you never know what those relationships will lead to in the future. They might not lead to anything but I have found that anytime you meet anyone and talk to them for more than 5 minutes, they can completely change the course of your life for the better. This doesn't always happen but it does sometimes happen.

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Comments

Apr 14, 2012 6:24am
askformore
I like your 'Hamlet Style' (To be, or not to be) approach to this issue. And I agree with you that you can build valuable relationships with new people through participation in 'volunteer work'.
Apr 17, 2012 3:46pm
Misskate
Interesting article. I am currently not working and am a SAHM who has an addiction lately to buying second hand books from our local op shop. They are always calling for Volunteers, so i have often thought about helping one day a week. I personally thought that while i am not working it is better to volunteer and have something on my resume than nothing at all. The only downfall that has stopped me, is I will end up buying all the books. Lol
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