Despite whatever appearance of ease of participation, volunteering can involve rigorous screening, a demand for strong qualifications and a very high degree of commitment, not to mention very specific requisite motivation.
In connection with career advancement during a period of unemployment or pre-employment, it is wise to consider a form of volunteering closely related to and supportive of personal career goals. Hence, given the choice of volunteer work with an environmental group or a homeless shelter, anyone with the goal of working in social services would be smart to choose the latter.
Of course, such career considerations can be set aside where the importance of the contribution to society or the needy outweighs the narrower career benefits-especially since that sacrifice will speak volumes about one's character to a prospective employer.
By helping others, people become more aware of problems and challenges that others face. They are able to appreciate causes and campaigns. It provides first-hand experience regarding specific subjects and exposure to what people are doing to make a difference.
Volunteering can make people feel good or better about themselves and others. When an opportunity arises to serve, help or show support, it can trigger certain feelings of unity and cohesiveness within the group of people lending a hand. Hence, it can also be a great way to make friends, because similar-minded people generally determine that helping people is a great thing to pursue. Similarly, the gratitude of those helped can strengthen emotional bonds with others and fulfill the desire to be needed and appreciated.
Although in many instances volunteers do not require specialized skills, there are also many volunteering opportunities for highly-trained professionals to provide their knowledge, talents and time simply because those who need this help are unable to pay for them. Examples include medical professionals, who, assigned through a recognized international medical volunteer agency, travel abroad to provide medical help where it is most needed.
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