Not many kids are thinking about how they will land a job or beef up their resume in elementary school. But a lifetime of service has a broad impact – not just on personal satisfaction, but also academic success and social development. Both of which play into the types of career options that become available to a young person down the road.
The point isn’t to squeeze a company’s outlined job requirements into a resume. Instead, it’s to develop life skills like confidence, teamwork, and leadership that will transcend any specific job and allow children to pursue the career that excites and intrinsically motivates them.
With foundational skills established at a young age, children are not doomed to become a slave to a system. Instead, the life skills they develop will create options that allow the world to be at their fingertips. Children can become the creators of their future based on their natural talents, interests they want to pursue, and skills they choose to develop.
So, how does volunteering help children accomplish all this?
1) They build infinitely valuable life skills
This study (by John Kissiibo Wilson Bwayo, CCert. Primary Teacher Education (MAK), DIP.ED Teacher Education (ITEK), Bed (MAK) highlights how hands-on volunteering in elementary schools develops life skills for self, interactions with others, and improved decision making.
- For knowing and living with oneself: Self-esteem, assertiveness, self-awareness, coping with stress and coping with emotion
- For knowing and living with others: Creative thinking, effective communication, friendship formation, interpersonal relationships, empathy, peer resistance, negotiation and non-violent conflict resolution
- For decision-making: Critical thinking, creative thinking, decision-making and problem-solving
2) They stand out to employers by having volunteer experience
This research from the National Service finds that people with volunteer experience are 27% more likely to be hired. It’s a recent trend that recruiters and career advisors are suggesting to help candidates stand out in the crowd as exceptional.
So what about adults with 1000+ volunteer hours under their belt since they were 7 years old? Talk about a huge advantage.
Results from the Deloitte Impact Survey () show that over 80% of HR decision makers find a job candidate with volunteering experience to be more desirable.
It’s clear that the skills and experience gained through volunteering are respected and that they provide an edge for job candidates during the hiring process.
Although there is no one solution for the challenges associated with unemployment among college graduates, volunteering bridging is a viable option that should be considered.
-Evan Hochberg, national director, Community engagement, Deloitte Services LP
Ultimately, volunteering doesn’t just help kids get the job of their dreams. It helps them understand what they’re capable of. It helps them create bigger better visions for how they can contribute to the world.