The benefits of volunteering for your career

The benefits of volunteering for your career
Jobstreet content teamupdated on 15 May, 2024

A headhunter goes through a promising candidate's CV. They nod along, impressed by what they find and jot down standout criteria. Here's what catches their eye: 

  • Academic Success: They hold bachelor's and master's degrees from a top university. They earned a solid 1.5 final grade. 
  • Impressive Work Experience: They spent five years in a respected company and gained valuable skills. 

But then, a snag appears when they reach the volunteering experience – there is nothing listed. 

 Here is a jaw-dropping revelation: volunteering can be a secret weapon for career growth. You may be looking to improve your skills, grow your network, or advance your career. Volunteering can help with all of these goals.  

In this article, we are going to dive deep into the benefits of volunteering and uncover its game-changing impact on your professional journey. 

What is volunteering?  

At its core, volunteering is the act of freely offering your time, skills, and resources. You do this to support a cause or organization without expecting payment. It is about uniting as a community to address social needs. It is about making good changes.  

There are many volunteer opportunities in the Philippines. They cater to a wide range of interests and skills. Here are some common types of volunteer work you can explore:  

  • Hands-On Volunteering: This type of volunteering experience involves direct, in-person engagement with the community. You can serve meals at a local soup kitchen. You can join in clean-up drives or help with disaster relief. Hands-on volunteering lets you make a real difference in people's lives.  

Here are some hands-on volunteering opportunities in the Philippines you can explore:  

  1. Community outreach programs: Many local organizations and non-profits organize outreach programs to support underserved communities. For example, the organization Community and Family Services International (CFSI) often conduct health screenings, distribute supplies, and provide educational workshops to improve the lives of those in need.  
  2. Environmental conservation projects: With its rich biodiversity and stunning landscapes, the Philippines offers many opportunities for environmental volunteering. Consider joining the Haribon Foundation, which focuses on conservation efforts nationwide. Volunteers engage in various activities such as tree planting initiatives, coastal clean-ups, and habitat restoration projects, contributing to the preservation of the country's natural beauty and diverse ecosystems. 
  3. Skills-based volunteering: If you have specialized skills or expertise, skills-based volunteering offers a unique opportunity to contribute your talents to organizations in need. You use your professional skills for good with skills-based volunteering. It lets you address specific challenges in the community. Some examples of this is by giving free legal help or by teaching digital literacy workshops.  

If you are eager to share your expertise and make a lasting impact, consider these  volunteering opportunities: 

  1. Mentorship programs: Pass on your knowledge and experience to the next generation by participating in mentorship programs for students or young professionals. For instance, Teach for the Philippines runs a mentorship program where experienced educators and professionals guide recent college graduates teaching in underserved communities. Mentors offer support and professional development to help fellows make a positive impact in students' lives. 
  2. Capacity building workshops: Capacity building workshops are vital for organizations in the Philippines, covering areas like organizational development and fundraising strategies. Your expertise in these fields can greatly assist local groups in reaching their goals. For instance, Gawad Kalinga hosts workshops that empower leaders and volunteers with skills in sustainable agriculture and leadership, enabling them to drive positive change in their communities.  

Benefits of volunteering for professional development 

A leader guiding a young volunteer in volunteering service

In addition to the joy of giving back, volunteering has many benefits for professional growth. For job seekers, volunteering provides a valuable opportunity to gain hands-on experience, learn new skills, and expand their professional network. You may want to switch to a new career field or improve your skills. Volunteering can give you experience and connections. Skills gained from volunteering may also help you stand out in today's tough job market.  

Let’s explore the benefits of volunteering in more detail: 

Volunteering teaches you valuable skills 

Volunteering is a chance to gain priceless skills that can propel your career. Through volunteering, you can develop hard and soft skills in practical settings.  

For example, imagine you are volunteering at a local soup kitchen. Not only will it refine your culinary skills, working with fellow volunteers will also improve your communication and teamwork skills. You learn these things as you collaborate to serve meals.  

Similarly, if you lack a medical background, volunteering at a community health clinic provides many opportunities to learn. You pick up basic medical skills. You also learn to talk to patients from diverse backgrounds. 

Volunteering provides opportunities to meet new people 

Networking is crucial for career growth. Volunteering offers an excellent way to expand your professional circle. By doing volunteer work, you can connect with people from many backgrounds and industries.  

For instance, imagine you are volunteering at a local community center. You are contributing to meaningful projects. You are also building relationships with fellow volunteers and community members. These connections can offer fresh perspectives and insights. They will enrich your understanding of diverse topics. 

As Manny Pacquiao, the world-renowned boxer and former senator of Philippines, once said: “The truth is, we are only as good as the people we surround ourselves with. This is true in life and in business." Volunteering lets you leave an impression on others. It also helps you make connections that can benefit your career. 

Volunteering can improve your job prospects  

Volunteering is a strategic move to enhance your job prospects. Employers today greatly value candidates who show commitment, initiative, and a passion for growth. These are qualities that many potential employers appreciate and can be developed through volunteering.  

Moreover, volunteering gives you hands-on experience. It can directly help at work. You may be leading a team of volunteers, organizing events, or managing resources. These experiences show your ability to take on responsibility and make a real impact.  

A study by the Corporation for National and Community Service found that volunteers are 27% more likely to get a job after unemployment. This is compared to non-volunteers. This statistic shows the big impact of volunteer work on job prospects. It stresses its value to employers. 

Volunteering gives you a sense of purpose  

Engaging in volunteer work can profoundly impact your sense of purpose, boosting your emotional and psychological well-being in the process. 

Research consistently shows that volunteering is linked to better mental health and well-being. A study published in the Journal of Happiness Studies found that people who volunteer are happier and more satisfied with life. Also, volunteering reduces stress and increases fulfillment.  

Finding the right reasons to volunteer and volunteering opportunity is crucial. It should align with your interests and values. Consider what causes resonate with you. Then, explore groups that address those issues. You may love environmental conservation, animal welfare, or community development. There are countless chances to get involved and make a big impact. 

Volunteering helps you build leadership skills and experience 

Many volunteer opportunities let people take on leadership roles and responsibilities. This can greatly benefit their personal and professional growth. When you volunteer, you may find yourself leading a team of volunteers. You may also coordinate projects or manage initiatives. 

These leadership experiences can be particularly invaluable for job seekers. Employers highly value candidates who show strong leadership. They are often essential for success at work. Highlight your leadership experience from volunteering. This sets you apart from other candidates and makes you stand out in the job market.  

Developing good leadership skills can also improve your relationships. They can raise your self-awareness and create purpose and fulfillment in your life. The skills you get from volunteering can have a lasting impact on your life. 

Read more: Nurturing Future Leaders in the Workplace 

Volunteering offers exposure to new industries 

One key advantage of volunteering is its flexibility. It lets you explore diverse interests and passions. You may be interested in environmental conservation, healthcare, education, or social justice. Countless volunteer opportunities are available across various industries.  

By volunteering in different roles and organizations, you can gain insights into many sectors. You can learn about different roles and work environments. This will help you make informed choices about your career.  

Also, volunteering lets people test the waters. They can see if they are interested in specific industries or roles.  For example, someone interested in healthcare may volunteer at a local hospital or clinic. They will gain exposure to the healthcare field and see if it is the right fit for them. Similarly, someone considering a career in education may volunteer as a tutor or mentor. They will gain firsthand experience working with students.  

Volunteers often pivot their careers significantly. For instance, conversations with professionals in different fields can inspire change. Consider a marketer who discovers a passion for nonprofit work while volunteering. They may then switch to the nonprofit sector full-time. 

Similarly, a finance pro manages the finances for a volunteer project. This might spark a passion for community development which could lead to a career in social impact investing. 

Volunteering can help to improve your communication skills 

Volunteering provides a platform to develop many communication skills. These include negotiation, persuasion, and public speaking. For example, volunteers involved in fundraising often need to negotiate sponsorships. They need to persuade potential donors to support their cause. Similarly, volunteers need to communicate well with team members, community leaders, and beneficiaries to ensure the success of their community projects. 

In volunteer settings, conflicts often arise within teams or between stakeholders. For instance, while organizing a charity event, volunteers may disagree over the event's coordination or its budget. Resolving these conflicts requires good communication. This includes active listening, empathy, and diplomacy. 

Volunteering promotes cultural competence and global awareness 

Volunteering in international settings exposes volunteers to new languages, customs, and traditions. This helps enhance their understanding and appreciation of diverse cultures and improves their cross-cultural skills.  

For example, volunteering as an English teacher in a foreign country gives locals a chance to learn new languages. It also lets volunteers dive into a new culture and language.  

Additionally, volunteering in the Philippines often involves multicultural teams which promotes collaboration, empathy, and respect for diverse perspectives. Working with people from different backgrounds challenges stereotypes. It also fosters understanding and respect. Volunteers learn to navigate cultural differences. They also learn to communicate better and adapt to diverse work styles and norms. 

Volunteering fosters innovation and creativity 

In the world of volunteering, where resources can be limited, innovation thrives. Volunteers often face constraints, and they must think of creative solutions that maximize impact.  

Take, for instance, a project in a rural village aiming to improve access to clean water. Instead of costly filtration systems, volunteers worked with local artisans. They crafted affordable filters from clay and sand, using materials that were easy to get.  

In times of crisis, like natural disasters, volunteers shine with innovation. They swiftly coordinate relief efforts. They use technology in efforts to organize at the grassroot level. They use social media to mobilize resources and support affected communities. In the world of volunteering, constraints become opportunities for clever solutions. They show how creativity can make real change. 

Volunteering helps to make a social impact 

Volunteering is not just about helping. It is about making a real difference in society and communities. When people invest time and energy in causes they believe in, they drive positive change. Volunteers play a key role in addressing social issues and building strong, resilient communities.  

Contributing to a cause you care about is not just unselfish, it is also fulfilling. Volunteers often find joy in knowing they are making a real difference. They also find a sense of purpose. You might see a child smile. You might see a neighborhood transform. Or, you might just know you made someone's day brighter. The rewards of volunteering are immeasurable. Volunteers make a difference by giving back. They create positive change. They also enrich their own lives. 


In summary, people should not underestimate the importance of volunteering as it is a goldmine for professional development. It is where you gain real-world experience, refine your skills, and grow your network. Remember, it is not just about giving back; it is an investment in yourself and your future success.  

So, why not consider volunteering as a savvy career move? Embrace the chances to broaden your skills and connections. Dive in today by exploring volunteer opportunities in the Philippines. You can also explore the latest volunteer service opportunities from the Philippine National Volunteer Service Coordinating Agency.  

Whether your passion lies in mentoring, environmental conservation, community initiatives, or other skills-based volunteering, there's a place for you to thrive while advancing your career. Seize the chance to unlock your potential through volunteering, now. 

For more career advice and tips, explore Jobstreet’s articles here.   


  1. How does volunteering help me professionally? 
    ⁠Volunteering is a powerhouse for professional growth. It offers hands-on experience, hones your skills, and expands your network. Through volunteering, you gain skills. These skills can improve your resume and impress employers.   

    ⁠Moreover, it shows your commitment. It also shows your initiative and adaptability. These are qualities highly valued in today's job market. So, you are looking to start your career, industries, or climb the corporate ladder. Volunteering can give you the edge you need to succeed. 
  2. Is volunteering a good management skill? 
    ⁠Absolutely! Volunteering provides many opportunities to develop and demonstrate valuable management skills. You can use volunteering to highlight your leadership. You can do this by leading projects and teams, and by coordinating events and initiatives. 

    ⁠Leading in volunteer settings can improve your communication. It can also improve your problem-solving and decision-making skills. These skills are essential for effective management. You may aspire to lead teams in your career. Or you may just want to improve your leadership. Volunteering is an excellent way to hone your management skills in a real world setting. 
  3. What skills do you gain from volunteer work? 
    ⁠You acquire diverse and invaluable skills through volunteering. They include communication, teamwork, problem-solving, and time management. Volunteering provides hands-on experience and lets you sharpen these skills in a practical setting. This boosts your personal growth and improves your ability to get a job. 

    ⁠You may be coordinating events, mentoring others, or working on community projects. Each volunteer opportunity offers unique chances to develop and refine vital skills. These skills will help you both personally and professionally. 
  4. What is the meaning of volunteering skills?

    ⁠Volunteering skills encompass a wide range of abilities acquired through volunteer work. These skills go beyond technical expertise. They include qualities like empathy, adaptability, and leadership. Volunteering skills are not only about what you can do but also about how you can contribute positively to a cause or community. They show that you want to give back, that you can work well with others, and that you want to make a difference.  

    ⁠Volunteering skills are the qualities you develop through volunteer experiences. They can be personal or professional. They enrich both your life and the lives of others. 
  5. Is volunteering considered a skill?
    ⁠⁠Yes, volunteering is indeed considered a skill. It may not fit the traditional definition of a technical or tangible skill. But, volunteering includes many valued abilities. These skills include communication, teamwork, leadership, adaptability, problem-solving, and time management, among others. 

    ⁠Volunteer work lets people develop and show these skills. They do so in real-world settings. This shows their ability to help and work well with others. Employers often view volunteering favorably. It shows a candidate's commitment, dedication, and willingness to give back to the community. Today's job market is competitive. The skills from volunteering can boost your chances of getting a job and advancing your career. 


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