Leadership Skills You Learn Volunteering

With the holidays around the corner many people look for ways to give back by volunteering. Volunteering is one of the best ways to develop leadership skills that can benefit your chapter or your career. Here are a few things that can be gained while giving: 

Teamwork - While volunteering you will be working with lots of different types of people. Volunteering is the perfect way to get comfortable working with people you don't know to achieve something awesome! Working toward a common goal with others will help you appreciate diversity, develop mutual respect and acknowledge the cooperation needed to succeed.  

Organizational/time management skills - Every volunteer opportunity looks different, but as a volunteer you might be attending meetings, planning an event or coordinating other volunteers. People will be relying on you to get a job done and this is a great opportunity to gain experience setting goals and achieving results. Showing up on time and prepared for volunteer meetings is perfect practice for leading effective and organized chapter or business meetings. Adding volunteering to your schedule will mean a personal commitment to time management as you will need to plan for work or school, family and friends, Gamma Phi Beta and volunteering. 

Learn new skills - Organizations that are in need of volunteer assistance are usually more than willing to train you in a new skill or program to help you get the job done. This means you can add something to your resume or practice a leadership skill you struggle with in a stress free environment. For example, volunteering to help with data management or office work may expose you to new computer programs or aspects of business you aren't familiar with, such as accounting or human resources. Volunteers are frequently needed as mentors for either program participants or other volunteers that are new to the organization. As a mentor you will hone your listening skills, become a better role model and be an effective communicator. Every time you volunteer, challenge yourself to learn something new. It is the perfect opportunity.

Grow your network - "It is not what you know, but who you know." Volunteering is a very social activity and a fantastic way to meet new people. This is a great way to expand your social circle or make a connection that helps further your career. The people you meet while volunteering might be able to introduce you to their boss, provide a recommendation to an employer or if they share your expertise they can be a source of advice and ideas.