With competing responsibilities in your busy life, sometimes it’s hard to figure out how you’ll ever get everything done. As counter-intuitive as it may sound, spending some of your precious time volunteering for a worthy cause just may be the thing you need to get things moving on the right track.

Here are seven reasons why you may benefit from volunteering some of your time:

  1. To make new friends

Even if you’re an introvert, we humans are social creatures. We are meant to genuinely and authentically connect with others. Volunteering your time is a natural, organic way to meet others who share the same interests.

  1. To build personal and professional contacts

“Networking” may sound like a dirty word if it’s not something you’re used to. Yet, it’s necessary this day in age to meet other people so you can gain exposure to new experiences and opportunities. Volunteering is an excellent way to build personal and professional contacts without traditional “networking”, if that’s not really your style.

  1. To build your self-esteem and self-confidence

If you’re struggling with issues of self-esteem and confidence, volunteer! You’ll feel great about contributing to a cause greater than yourself, and as you accomplish different tasks, you’ll learn new skills and grow competent in the area of your choosing.

  1. To make a difference in the world

Do you ever feel like there is too much greed, evil, poverty or other issues in the world? Do you wish there was something you could do about it? Through volunteering, you can! You’ll experience a sense of purpose by making a difference in the world by selecting a cause that truly resonates with what you feel are the big problems of the world we inhabit.

  1. To add experience to your resume

So few people hold the same career their entire adult lives. Yet, if you’re just graduating college, or desiring a career change that represents a huge departure from your current skillset, there’s a bit of a catch-22 scenario.

Without experience on your resume, nobody will give you a solid chance. But without a solid chance, you’ll never get relevant experience.

What do you do?

Volunteer, of course!

If you desire to break into a new industry or feel tempted to test the waters of a life change, consider volunteering a few hours at a time to help fill in the gaps on your resume while helping a cause you care for.

  1. To improve your health

One often overlooked benefit of volunteering is that it could help improve your health.

Depending on the volunteer activity you select, you could gain some valuable outdoor time, which would improve your physical health. You could try something nurturing and soothing for your mental health like cuddling newborn babies in hospitals or keeping lonely senior citizens company at nursing homes. Or you could even try something spiritually uplifting like going Christmas caroling during the holiday season.

There are many options and many ways volunteering could benefit your health – you have to be creative with selection.

  1. To have fun

Last but not least, one of the best benefits of volunteering is that it can be lots of fun! Maybe you gather some friends and go on a beach clean-up day. Or you do a charity fundraiser walk. Or if there’s a conference you’d like to attend, you can go for free in exchange for helping set up or clean up afterward.

The possibilities are truly endless!

Bottom Line

You will get so much more out of your volunteer experience than you put in. Look up worthy causes in your neighborhood today, and see which may be a good fit for your personality and your lifestyle.

You will gain so much more than you contribute on so many levels – and you’ll be happy you gave it a go.