When you enter the job market, you typically get a job according to your skills and educational achievements; however, one’s first job is rarely the one you keep for the rest of your life. Through work experience and skills development courses, people improve their prospects and move up the career ladder.
This is the most common and obvious way of improving one’s options, but there are other initiatives that one can partake in that can also have a positive impact on one’s life – and even on the lives of others.
Volunteering is one such activity; several studies and research has shown that it provides people with social, career and personal benefits.
These are just some of the positive impacts that volunteering has.
- Longer Life
The positive impact of doing something for others and for the community can help boost a person’s longevity. The act of being involved in an organisation and doing various tasks helps a person’s cognitive faculties remain alert.
- Better mental health
The act of volunteering helps with boosting and promoting mental health. It helps with memory functions and allows people to think in a more flexible manner that can prevent the early onset of dementia.
- Better general health
Since volunteering often involves various activities that can include physical activities such as treks, walkathons, or even simply having a stand at a bake sale, this all leads to increased strength and stamina in volunteers.
- Social relationships
A common reason for people to take up volunteering is to meet people. This is a very important social construct because friendship and socialisation decrease the feeling of loneliness, builds self-esteem, and allows people to learn about how other people live and think. There’s also research that claims that family members who volunteer together have a tighter family bond.
Apart from the personal benefits, it’s also encouraging to know that society values volunteers and the time that they offer to their community.
You may already be volunteering your time. But if you’re not, consider the benefits that volunteering can offer you and how the donation of your time can really make a difference.
If you’re unsure about what organisation you could form part of, there are hundreds of voluntary organisations in Malta that focus on different areas of interest.
One such organisation is JCI Malta, an organisation that focuses on the theme of leadership through various events and initiatives that its members can either organise or contribute towards.
JCI Malta is an international organisation present in 100+ countries with the aim of developing leaders for a changing world. Its members are young leaders aged 18 to 40 who believe in the importance of personal and professional development and helping their community through economic and social ventures.
A study in the Journal of Happiness states that people who volunteer report higher levels of happiness and life satisfaction. Volunteering not only helps other people, but it also helps the volunteer to feel good about themselves.
The benefits of volunteering are countless but they are all-encompassing and research across the board confirms that it offers social, emotional, physical, and professional perks.
If this sounds like something that would interest you, you can find out more about the organisation via the website www.jci.org.mt or register for their next event and try it out for yourself.
A version of this article appeared in the 21 Advisory June 2022 Newsletter