Now don’t get me wrong, but even though volunteering is one of the best things a person can do with their time, it can be done incorrectly. By incorrectly I don’t mean that there’s a right way or a wrong way to volunteer. I’m talking about people who don’t do their research and end up volunteering for an organization they dislike or for a cause they don’t truly care about. Even though their efforts are rightfully appreciated, it’s a fact that people do better and more engaged when they’re happy with what they’re doing. With that in mind, here are 5 tips to maximize your volunteering experience.
- Do your research: As I mentioned above, research is key to enjoying your volunteering experience and maximizing the amount help you can give to others. Make sure the organization and cause you’re working with are ones that line up with your beliefs, desires, and emotions. Remember, volunteering should move you and make you feel things.
- Consider your skills: If you’re skilled in a certain field, consider volunteering where your unique skills would be put to the most use. Regardless of what your experiences and skills are, there will be places where they will have the maximum effect and pursuing those options would be a great way to help as much as you can.
- Don’t overcommit your schedule: Volunteering is exhausting, both physically and emotionally. It also has a very draining effect on your mental stamina and it’s necessary to make sure that you take time off so that you don’t burn out. You won’t be able to help anyone if you’re too tired and drained and so don’t feel bad about taking a break — you need it too.
- Search for volunteer opportunities: There are some places that are known for accepting volunteers in droves — hospitals and libraries are two that come to mind. But there are also tons of lesser known organizations and places that would love to have someone volunteer. Look around your community and ask around, what you find may surprise you.
- Do you want to learn?: Some volunteering opportunities may end up teaching you skills and imparting information. Think about that when you’re figuring out where you want to spend your time.
These are just 5 tips to make sure you’re volunteering at your best. Read here for more!