Community service is work that helps people in the community. It is often done by volunteers. It can be very beneficial to those who receive the service.
It can also be helpful to those who want to try out a career before making a permanent commitment. For example, a college student who wants to be a doctor could volunteer at a local hospital.
1. Helping Others
Everyone needs help sometimes, whether it’s emotional support after a tragedy or simply someone to cook them a meal. But when you make a habit of helping others, it has ripple effects in your community and beyond. People feel loved and cared for when they receive kindness, which makes them more likely to spread that same love and kindness to others.
Some people participate in community service to improve their resume and gain valuable work experience, but there are many other reasons. Community service can also be an opportunity to learn new skills, like organization, responsibility and compassion, which are all qualities that colleges and employers look for in applicants.
You can even use community service to learn more about a career that you are interested in, such as working at an animal shelter if you are thinking of becoming a veterinarian or volunteering at a museum if you are considering a career in history.
2. Developing Skills
The best community service projects often combine learning with serving. By focusing on leadership development, it’s possible to impact the community while improving yourself. Having both the experience and the skills to be an effective leader can also be beneficial on your resume.
The other level of skill development is acquiring the ability to take in feedback and use it for improvement. This requires environmental and contextual sensitivity, which isn’t always taught in school. Developing this level of adjunct skills is particularly important for emergency and corrective services, where people have to work under high stress and in high-stakes situations.
Developing these skills is often difficult, but the payoff can be huge. If you have a specific goal in mind, break it down into small chunks and then make measurable progress. For example, if you want to develop networking skills, set a goal to meet with X number of new people each week. This will help you achieve a specific, quantifiable milestone while also fostering a sense of accomplishment.
3. Getting Out of Your Comfort Zone
When you get out of your comfort zone, it forces you to take risks and confront challenges. This is good because it helps you grow as a person. It also makes you feel more confident.
It can also help you break down stereotypes that are based on superficial characteristics, such as race or age. These stereotypes can lead to biased opinions and judgments, which are bad for personal relationships and the work place. Community service can help you realize that not all people fit into these preconceived ideas.
You can also use community service to learn about different careers. For example, you could volunteer at a shelter if you want to be a veterinarian or work in a museum if you are interested in history. This can give you an insider’s look at those fields and help you decide if they are right for you. Plus, you can make friends in the process!
4. Making Friends
Community service is an ideal way to meet people and make new friends. Volunteers often spend time together in groups, such as cleaning up a park, helping homeless people or serving meals at soup kitchens. These groups often form friendships that last well beyond the completion of their volunteering assignments.
Many research studies have shown that selfless activities like volunteering positively affects one’s mental and physical health. In addition, it is a great way to connect with your loved ones and create long-lasting memories.
It also allows you to explore academic interests through a real world lens. Whether you’re working on a recycling project, assisting a family in need or participating in an election, you’ll gain invaluable skills that can help you in your future career. Plus, employers overwhelmingly look favorably on job applicants who have participated in community service. This is a great opportunity to get your foot in the door of a professional career.