Blog: 10 ways volunteering can benefit you... Volunteering doesn’t have to be all about self-sacrifice and selflessness! There are many ways that volunteering can benefit you. Here’s our list of the top 10 ways volunteering can make a difference to your own life… Learning new skills Volunteering offers you the chance to learn new skills, improve your current ones, and identify your strengths and weaknesses. From leadership and communication skills, to problem-solving and teamwork, enhancing and learning new skills can only be a positive thing, expanding your potential for future opportunities. Improving career prospects Volunteering looks great on your CV and shows skills like commitment, responsibility and determination, skills that employers are always looking out for. You should also be able to get a reference from the person who has supervised your volunteering time, which could help you stand out from other applicants if you’ve made a good impression. Making new friends One of the great things about volunteering is all the fantastic people you get to meet! Plus, when you’re volunteering for something that you care about, the chances are you’ll meet people with similar interests to you. You never know… Your new best friend could be just a volunteering role away! Increasing confidence By getting out of your comfort zone, trying new things and meeting new people, you’ll automatically boost your confidence. And, when you see what you can achieve, you’ll feel great about yourself too. Good for your health Volunteering and giving back to your community has been proven to be good for your health, decreasing the risk of depression, keeping you active, improving thinking skills, and reducing stress levels. Boost your health while doing something good; it’s a win-win situation for everyone! Feel-good feeling You’ll get that warm fuzzy feeling knowing that you’ve helped out a local charity who would struggle without volunteers like you. There’s no better feeling than seeing first-hand the difference you’ve made – whether that’s a smile on a patient’s face or finding out the total made at an event you’ve been involved in. Practice for the workplace Starting your first job can be scary! Through volunteering you’ll get a taste of the workplace before you enter it in a paid role with added responsibility, hopefully making that first job a little bit less daunting. By experiencing this beforehand, you’ll better know what to expect and pick up all those bits of office etiquette – tea, anyone!? Helping decide which careers is for you Choosing what to do for the rest of your life is a big decision, so it’s great to try out a few things before you do! By volunteering you might find out that what you thought was your calling isn’t really for you, or you may find that something you hadn’t considered is actually something you’d be interested in. Networking Volunteering offers you the chance to network, which will always come in handy for future jobs! Whether this is when you’re applying for a job when someone has already seen you in action, or simply being able to ask advice of someone in your chosen industry, it’s always helpful to have a list of useful contacts to hand. Give you a sense of purpose In a busy and technology-driven world it can be easy to lose a sense of purpose. Volunteering can help to give you that back as you see the difference you make and know that people are relying on your help. If you’d like to volunteer your time for St. Margaret’s, whether this is once a week, once a month, or even just a couple of times a year at our fundraising events, please click here to find a role to suit you.