Volunteering makes a massive contribution to society, filling crucial gaps left by government and other organizations. But deciding to offer your services as a volunteer isn't only about a desire to do good in society.

The benefits go two ways, and volunteering can bring enormous advantages to your life, both personally and professionally. Take it from Austin Alexander Burridge, an experienced collegiate volunteer who’s been giving back to his community since his youth.

1) Improved Career Prospects

Whichever field you volunteer in, you'll pick up valuable new experience and skills that will help advance your career. Even if the experience is not directly connected to your work, recruiters love to see a well-rounded resume. Volunteering is great for achieving this.

2) New Professional Contacts

And when you volunteer, you'll meet many other motivated, dedicated people along the way. Some of these new contacts will be professionals in related careers to your own, and they can make excellent networking prospects.

3) New Social Contacts

You'll also meet plenty of people from outside your usual social circles. As well as making new friends, you can broaden your horizons and develop your people skills.

4) Develop and Strengthen Your Community

And by working closely with people on a project that benefits your community, you'll be building a strong collective sense of belonging and ownership. The community benefits will flow far beyond the initial focus of your volunteering work.

5) Better Physical and Mental Health

Studies and surveys show that people who volunteer tend to enjoy better health. They sleep better and have more energy. They have more confidence and can cope better with stress. And by being physically and mentally active, they feel younger for longer.

6) Fill Gaps in Resume

And lastly, if you take gaps years from working for whatever reason, volunteering keeps your resume active. It shows you're still engaged, whatever your current employment status. This is extremely valuable if you start looking for a job in the future.

Of course, the main reasons for volunteering are the benefits brought to others. But when you can enjoy substantial rewards as well, everyone's a winner.

About Austin Alexander Burridge:
Following his passion early on, Austin Alexander Burridge went to the Galapagos Islands, Ecuador, and the Amazon Rain Forest while he was studying at the School of Environment Studies to investigate ecological systems and their sustainability. Helping others also has been of paramount importance to him, and as a part of the Fellowship of Christian Athletes (FCA), Austin gave back to the community around him. He has participated in annual peanut butter drives, The Minnesota Sandwich Project for the Homeless and collected canned goods for local food shelters.

Author's Bio: 

Success Coach, Business Development Consultant, Strategist,Blogger, Traveller, Motivational Writer & Speaker