Does Volunteering Outside Of Work Help You Professionally?

November 16, 20158:17 am1218 views

With the holidays approaching, many people may be looking for opportunities to give back. What they may not realize is how their community service also could be helping their careers. Here are some reasons on how volunteering outside of work can help you professionally.

According to a recent Robert Half survey, the respondents said philanthropic activities help them improve their sense of well-being and effectiveness at the office (58 per cent), develop new skills (48 per cent), expand their network (47 per cent), and enhance their company’s visibility (14 per cent).

The research also revealed demographic differences: More female (38 per cent) than male professionals (35 per cent) said they volunteer outside of work. Greater numbers of workers ages 55 and over (47 per cent) reported donating their time than colleagues ages 35-54 (39 per cent) or 18-34 (30 per cent).

“Giving your time to help make someone else’s life a little easier is a powerful way to engage with your community. Not only does it inspire change and possibility for those you help, it allows you to cultivate a broader network as well as skillsets that can impact your own direction and growth, personally or professionally,” said Greg Scileppi, president of Robert Half, International Staffing Operations.

See: Is “working nine to five” an outdated concept?

If you haven’t started volunteering yet to be a part of community events and activities, here are four essential tips to get you started to give back:

  1. Find an organization in need. Search for organizations you care about in your community, and then contact them to see how they could use your help. Be sure to explain your particular skills and interests.
  2. Check with your employer. Many companies have ties to nonprofit organizations or facilitate charitable activities. Other companies offer volunteer matching or grant programs for those employees who give their time.
  3. Invite your colleagues to join you. One person can make a big impact, but there could be power in numbers if your co-workers come, too.
  4. Look beyond the holidays. There are community service opportunities available throughout the year, such as park cleanups and exercising for a good cause.

“Doing good makes people feel good,” added Scileppi. “Companies shouldn’t underestimate the positive impact workplace volunteer programs can have on their employees and their business, such as boosting internal morale and encouraging a shared commitment to reciprocal goals that go beyond the bottom line.”

“Volunteering can help employees at any level build their careers,” said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. “Not only does it provide the gratification of giving back to the community, but it could open doors to a new professional opportunity or business connection.”

McDonald added, “Managers may find that encouraging their employees to volunteer is a beneficial retention and recruitment tool. Many professionals value the chance to give back to causes that are important to them and their community.”

Also read: Workers Plagued with Misconceptions about Productivity: Survey Reveals

(Visited 1 times, 1 visits today)