Doing good for others is always a good idea, but did you know that doing good for others can also do you good?
Volunteering your time and energy to help someone in need is not only noble, but it can help you find out what you like and what you don’t like.
Of course, we often will do things out of the goodness of our heart that we don’t necessarily enjoy. But the knowledge that we accumulate by trying things out can help steer us in our life course.
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There aren’t many jobs out there that you can get while in high school that will be life-changing. Most of your employment will involve the retail or restaurant industry.
Unless you plan to open your own clothing line or become a chef, these jobs will simply be a way to put some extra spending cash in your pocket for Friday nights.
You’ll learn some responsibility, but you won’t learn much about what it’s like to have a real career.
However, some volunteering opportunities can give you insight into what it would be like to have a real job.
Volunteering at a pet shelter can let you know if you’d cut it as a veterinarian. Volunteering at a hospital nursery can give you a clue as to what parts of being a nurse or pediatrician you’d enjoy or dislike.
Volunteering for Habitat for Humanity allows you to learn if you can work well with your hands or have an engineering brain. If you like it, you can dig even deeper and see if you enjoy robotic engineering.
Volunteering can open up a much wider area of interest for those who are trying to search for their career path that a regular summer job won’t be able to do.
Takes Money Out of the Picture
Admittedly, many students choose a career based on the income potential that it offers. Understandably, you would want to reach for a career that provides an excellent financial future.
However, this aspect of your future can start to take over in your decision-making process, and things may start to get a little hazy.
When you place too high of an importance on the money, you may end up pursuing a career that pays really well but that you don’t enjoy at all.
No one gets paid to volunteer. This takes the big stumble block out of the way.
With no monetary incentive offered, volunteering allows you to experience working in a position without continually trying to measure the economic value it offers.
You are free to complete tasks and set out on a mission simply to do just that. You may find a career path that you would have ruled out because it didn’t meet your financial expectations.
Having a job that you love is priceless.
Unlock Hidden Passions
As young adults, you may have some well-known hobbies or passions that you pursue. However, since you are still young, you might have some that you have yet to discover.
Volunteering can help you unlock some of your undiscovered strengths, skills, and passions that you can use to determine your best-suited career path.
You might find a cause that pulls at your heart or an environment that just feels like home.
Whether you volunteer at National Parks or a Food Pantry, the experience could help you learn more about yourself that you didn’t even know you had within you.
You don’t have to have special skills to volunteer. You won’t be turned down. You won’t face an intimidating interview in a stuffy outfit.
Volunteering can help you feel good about how you’re using your time helping others while allowing you to experience new and fresh things that could surprise you in the long run.