One of the most valuable things my parents instilled in me and my two sisters growing up was the importance of volunteering. Both of them were busy people, but they always made it a priority to give of their time in our numerous kids’ activities, as well as to others in the community. My dad would regularly quote the biblical promise of “Give and ye shall receive 100 fold.” (Matthew 19:29) My siblings and I were regularly exposed to and expected to volunteer – sometimes as a family, and sometimes on our own as we got older. I would even be so bold to say that because my parents volunteered, it helped them better enjoy their careers, strengthen their marriage, and increase their overall happiness. Today, even in retirement, my parents continue to make volunteering a regular part of their lives.
According to the Bureau of Labor report, 26.8% of Americans volunteered in 2011. If you’re looking for new work or are considering changing careers, regular volunteering that fits both your interests and talents can be one of the smartest career moves you can make.
If you’re amongst the nearly ¾ of Americans who aren’t currently engaged in volunteering, I highly recommend reading the following article for many practical tips and suggestions.