“So you mean I won’t get paid? Why would I do it then?”
Unfortunately this more and more appears to be one of the mottos of our generation. The idea that there should be an extrinsic benefit to everything we do, or else it’s not worth putting any effort into is a sad one indeed. I am a big fan of maximizing your time, making money, saving money, and taking care of your personal finances, but the reason for this might surprise some people. For me, money is nothing but a means to an end. I want to be able to live independently, provide for a family that I may (hopefully) one day have, maybe travel a little, and most of all, retire before I’m 80 (55 if all goes well). Other than that I don’t plan on ever buying an expensive car, a larger-than-average house, a fancy boat, or some of the other ‘necessities’ that drive others to work hard. If your only goal while reading this site is to gain and keep a maximum amount of money while in school there are probably other articles that will interest you more. There are many potential financial benefits to student volunteer, but money should not be at the core of why you are helping others. Here are 5 great reasons why you should consider volunteering:
Go Out And Student Volunteer For Many Benefits!
1) Helping others makes them feel great and it makes you feel great!
The obvious best reason to volunteer is to help others. If you are attending university there is a good chance you are a fairly privileged individual (I know sometimes when your eating ramen noodles for the 7th time that month it doesn’t feel that way, but come on…
2) Builds skills.
You learn all kinds of things volunteering. There are student volunteer opportunities surrounding almost any skill you want to learn. Many student volunteer agencies of all kinds, sizes and varieties need help with administrative work, book keeping, construction, working with kids, seniors etc. Many charities will even pay for any course work such as first aid, or various other certifications after you have a built a good relationship with them.
3) Build up connections.
In terms of financial ramifications the most valuable part of volunteering is the connections you will build. Building various types of relationships with a ride range of people is a unique skill that can boost your career and other aspects of life in many ways. There is a Canadian author that I am a pretty big fan of named Malcolm Gladwell. In his best selling book, “The Tipping Point,” Gladwell talks about how valuable a certain type of person known as a ‘connector’ is. Connectors are the masters of communication. They are able to bring diverse groups of people together and disperse key bits of information in all directions. In terms of personal gain, connectors have access to a huge bank of personal goodwill and associations that can be counted upon to provide a lot of employment opportunities and support. To be absolutely honest the best example of a ‘connector’ that I know is my partner J.B. His volunteering has spanned a vast array of student organizations, businesses of all kinds, and his chosen career sector. It is no accident he found a job immediately upon graduation.
4) Build up resume material.
With the job market becoming more and more competitive it is crucial to try and set your resume (again link) apart from the rest of the pack with something unique. I can honestly say that I probably got my job as a direct result of the student volunteer work that I did. During my interview the superintendent and principal of my current school asked several questions concerning my coaching ventures. I think my fairly extensive student volunteer background reflected well on me and separated
5) You have the time!
Although every university student thinks they have no time, the truth actually is that unless you are in law, medicine, or another such faculty, you will probably never have this much time ever again. Everyone likes to think they are extremely busy, but when most university students take an objective look at their schedule they realize that other than possibly the last week before exams (if you have an essay-heavy schedule) or the exam period, they probably have plenty of spare time. Ask yourself if maybe you couldn’t sacrifice the afternoon nap a couple nights a week? There are opportunities to student volunteer all around you and transportation is likely not an issue. Don’t use the excuse of, “I have no time,” just be honest and say you don’t want to.
Student Volunteer At Sporting Events
If you are like me and into sports I have to recommend volunteering in this capacity. It is so easy to do as the infrastructure is already in place, and your student volunteer hours will make a maximum impact. I have coached basketball at pretty much every age group, taught swimming lessons, did boxing seminars at youth centres, and maybe most rewardingly, got involved with the Special Olympics program. All of these student volunteer experiences helped shape me into who I am today and made me a better person. On top of that they also provided me with some pretty cool perks, and I think I actually made a difference in several people’s lives which is a great feeling (yes, I am a teacher and a sucker for those type of clichéd comments… sue me).