5 ways to get the most out of your volunteering

Before diving into a volunteering opportunity, it’s often useful to take a quick step back and think about how your efforts are going to be worthwhile and rewarding.

Here are our 5 key things to consider to get the most out of any volunteering…

Do something you love

It’s easy to think “I’ll volunteer because vInspired said it was a good thing to do,” only to find yourself helping drunk people back to their feet on a Saturday night followed by a quick change of heart. Instead, before applying for an opportunity, ask yourself: “do I feel strongly about this particular problem or issue?” That way, not only will you be motivated, you’ll also make more impact on those you are helping.

Think about yourself

But volunteering is meant to be a selfless act I hear you say? Well yes, but volunteering is and should always be a two way thing. It’s about doing good for others and yourself. So, before you apply for any opportunity think about how you’re going to help others, but also don’t be afraid to ask yourself: 'what am I going to get from this experience?'. Write a list of things you want to achieve and don’t be afraid to contact the organiser to find out whether they can meet your requirements.

Make new connections and network

Whilst volunteering, every person you meet is an open door. I’m not saying go and speak the ears off everyone, but making a good impression is essential, and establishing fresh contacts can open whole new worlds of possibility. And once the opportunity is over, always add those you meet on Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn. If, like many young people, you’re using volunteering to find a job, referrals are one of the top sources for hiring. Those new connections you’ve made? Somewhere down the line, they could help you realise your ambitions.

Get out of your comfort zone

Eleanor Roosevelt said “Do one thing every day that scares you.” Volunteering is a great way to push yourself to the limit – and realise your own personal potential. By getting out of your comfort zone not only will you become more comfortable with taking risks, you’ll also move much faster towards your goals. It also feels great to know that you’re doing something that most people are not!

Keep it up

Before you sign up to a volunteering opportunity make sure you figure out exactly how much time you can realistically commit. That way, you are more likely to keep it up, grow as a person and ensure that you can get your regular fix of feeling good.

Have you got any other tops tips for making the most of your volunteering experience? Share them below in the comments section.

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