Volunteering provides a number of benefits to the
volunteer. When you volunteer, you are not only
helping others, you are helping yourself! Whether
you are currently employed or looking for a paying
job, volunteering can help you meet some of your
personal and professional goals.
If you are already employed, volunteering may
actually help reduce stress, some studies
have shown. It may seem like an oxymoron, that
adding more work to your workload can actually
reduce job-related stress , but apparently giving
back to the community and doing something good
for other people can be a stress reliever.
Additionally, there are many other professional
benefits from volunteering, from advancing your
current career, or even finding a new job.
Networking Opportunities for Healthcare Volunteers:
Volunteering can actually help
expand your professional network. Whether you are
employed, or unemployed, professional networking
is helpful for career advancement, or for identifying
potential job opportunities through added contacts.
Growing your network is an excellent way to
increase your chances for career success.
You may even be able to find someone who would
be willing to mentor you. A mentor could be
someone in your role or in your desired role, who
could take you under his or her wing and help get
you acquainted with the healthcare profession.
Try Before You Buy:
Volunteering can also be a great way to try out an
employer before you commit to working there for
the long term. By volunteering, you can dip your toe
into the proverbial pool, and learn about the work
environment, the culture, and personalities of the
employees, to see if working there is a long term fit
for you. This could help prevent you from being a
“job hopper ” because you will already be
familiarized with the setting ahead of time.
You may also be able to shadow a professional for a
day, to see what the “typical work day” is like for
someone in your desired role or the role you are
working towards, whether it’s a physician, nurse,
allied health professional, or administrative role.
Shadowing, or doing a preceptorship, can provide
invaluable perspective for you to help determine if
the health career you think you want is the best
option for you.
Learn New Skills:
Volunteering may also be a way for you to learn
new skills , terminology, or best practices. As a
volunteer, you are adding qualifications to your
background and experience that you can then apply
to your current or future paying jobs. Additionally,
your volunteer activities add depth to your resume’
and show that you are a well-rounded individual. In
fact, many colleges and employers specifically look
for volunteerism, and regard it highly when
selecting students and employees.
Working with an NGO could give you this leverage, adding more colour to your CV.
Therefore, if you are interested in trying it out as a volunteer, you can easily join Handicapped Education Foundation (HANDEF) with its headquarters located at plot 6/13, Olusegun Obasanjo Way Ilesa Road, Akure.