My post about being a volunteer in retirement generated several comments on LinkedIn. In the post I discussed some of the reasons I have found volunteering to be gratifying. In his article for Next Avenue, Mark Horoszowski details "5 Surprising Benefits of Volunteering." It not only reinforces the value of volunteering, it makes for an interesting read.
For one thing, Mark talks about the fact that volunteering actually gives you the impression that you have more time, not less of it. That's because spending time in a worthwhile pursuit makes your time generally feel of greater value.
Other surprising benefits? Volunteers who use their skills to help an organization may find that they are developing entirely new skills during their volunteer commitment. Volunteering can continue to hone your experience. It can offer you experience in a new area, or provide you with the experience you need to transition from the business world to the nonprofit sector. Volunteering can also lead to an unexpected part-time paid position.
Interestingly, research has shown that people who volunteer share the love -- they are generally happier than people who do not volunteer.
Even if you volunteer a few hours a week or just once a month, don't underestimate the value of volunteering -- especially at a stage of life where personal validation and satisfaction can be so important.