The Benefits of Youth Work

Published: 29th July 2009
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As the economy tightens; it's easy to dismiss the value of unpaid positions. Watching your savings dwindle, your co-workers getting laid off or the value of you home plummet hardly encourages thoughts of charity work. Yet, volunteer positions provide just as many hidden benefits as visible ones.

In the current economic downturn, the need for charity work has expanded quickly. With unemployment rates rising across the country, millions have lost all or part of their income and health benefits. The mortgage crisis has forced many families to struggle to keep their homes with little left over to pay the bills. Local food banks and other social service agonies that rely on volunteer positions are reporting a large rise in the number of families requesting help. Clearly, the need for people willing to perform voluntary work is growing.

Of course, it's easy to see how taking volunteer jobs can help others. Charity organizations have existed since our country was founded. You don't have to look far to find a volunteer job that suits your interests. The current financial meltdown has simply made the need for charity work more visible. Helping those less fortunate find shelter after losing a home or feeding their families health food, are vitally important roles for volunteer workers. Other volunteer jobs that are even more important in the current economy are teaching new job skills and job search techniques to displaced workers.

With increased financial anxiety, it's hard to see how a volunteer job can be helpful to you. Yet, in the current economy, voluntary work can offer very tangible benefits. While it might seem crazy to quit a job and try a new career you love, a volunteer job can offer the opportunity to try that new role with out the risk of leaving your current job. Youth work can provide a chance to develop new skills that you can bring back to a paid job. These transferable skills gained through volunteer work can often make you even more valuable to your current employer. Or, you may have the chance to find a new mentor through youth work to help shape your future goals.

Involvement with charity organizations can provide exposure to people you might otherwise never meet. It offers the possibility of making new friends and finding new interests. Expanding your social network is a benefit both personally and professionally. As you work with a wider range of people through charity work, you create an ever expanding circle of people who can see your talents.

If it turns out that you're talented in an area that you've volunteered in, you can gain confidence and develop a work history in a new field. If faced with the loss of your current job, you are several steps ahead to a new career. Accomplishments through volunteer jobs are a great booster to any resume. Many people have even turned volunteer jobs into paying ones after proving themselves through charity work.

The personal satisfaction gained from helping others in need can't be underestimated. While other areas of your life may be causing stress, watching others overcome obstacles provides some much needed hope and optimism. It's hard to place a value on a more positive outlook towards the future.

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