Employment
How volunteering can improve your personal and professional life
by Mackenzie Murphy | February 4, 2020

Who run the world? Volunteers.

As a student, keeping up with relationships, jobs, and school can be straining. Because of this, volunteering sometimes gets left on the back-burner. But, did you know volunteering can be beneficial to your personal life, look good on a resumé, and be fun all at the same time?

Beyond the benefits volunteering adds to your life, it is the reason many charitable organizations are running today. From Meals on Wheels to St. Joseph’s Hospital to your very own school; it’s easy to find opportunities to give back at every corner.

If you’re not already filling out applications for volunteer positions, here are five reasons you should:

1. Community builder

Hands together with a dog paw

If you’re anything like me, small talk isn’t your forte; that forced feeling of a connection at networking events can leave me feeling drained. That’s where volunteering comes in.

The most memorable connections I’ve made have been through volunteering. There’s a certain bond that you create with others when you are both working towards a common goal. The best part? There’s nothing forced! You’re all working together to help an organization you believe in. What’s more genuine than that?

2. Explore career opportunities

Mr. Krabs with money

Itching to find out what life would be like working in a certain field? Volunteer your time to gain insight into how certain organizations or companies function. You’ll have the chance to network, gain experience and test out what life would really be like in that environment.

Many of Humber’s programs include internship opportunities; get ahead of the game and volunteer your time to establish a relationship with a company that may pay you real money one day!

3. Develop a standout resumé

Gordon Ramsey saying 'the choice is yours'

Remember the days of being 14-years-old, learning how to make your first resumé and putting things like ‘washed my mom’s car’ as experience? I sure do. Sometimes, I still feel I lack experience. A sure-fire way to avoid gaps in your resumé is to volunteer.

Volunteering not only makes you look experienced but it also shows character. A real human, willing to work for free, for a cause they believe in? Almost too good to be true.

Humber has an awesome resource for students to not only record their volunteer and work experience but also search for positions! Check out Humber’s Co-Curricular Record (CCR) to get started.

 4. Form leadership skills

Look at me; I am the Captain now.

I am convinced that people are not born leaders, they are taught. For some, leadership comes easy. But for a lot of us, leadership is a skill that we continuously need to work on and develop. Volunteering not only gives you the chance to learn from great leaders but also practice those skills.

Step out of your comfort zone and jump into a new position; with volunteering, you’ll be interacting with new faces in a judgment-free zone. It is the perfect environment to start leading.

5. Helping others helps you

Old ladies dancing

You know that warm-fuzzy feeling you get when you open the door for someone? You get that same feeling when you volunteer! By giving back to your community, you develop a sense of purpose. Interestingly enough, that sense of purpose is what a 2017 study found as a tool for helping those with chronic pain.

Volunteering not only helps with physical health but mental health as well. As a teen, I spent a few weeks in a mental health facility; every Sunday, they took us volunteering. Giving sends signals to those magical little receptors in our brain to let us know we’re happy! Some even call it the “helper’s high.”


Ready to volunteer now? Give back to your community by running in this year’s IGNITE Election!

Follow IGNITE on FacebookInstagram, and Twitter for all things student life.