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What workers get by giving back

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What workers get by giving back

Four in 10 professionals volunteer time outside of work.

With the holidays approaching, many people may be looking for opportunities to give back. What they may not realize is how their community service also could be helping their careers.

In a survey from HR firm Robert Half, more than four in 10 (41%) US professionals said they volunteer outside of work. Respondents said their philanthropic activities help them improve their sense of well-being and effectiveness at the office (61%), expand their network (57%), develop new skills (49%), and enhance their company's visibility (35%).

The research also revealed demographic differences: More male (45%) than female professionals (37%) said they volunteer outside of work. Greater numbers of workers ages 18-34 (49%) reported donating their time than colleagues ages 35-54 (35%).

"Volunteering can help employees at any level build their careers," said Paul McDonald, senior executive director for Robert Half. "Not only does it provide the gratification of giving back to the community, but it could open doors to a new professional opportunity or business connection."

McDonald added, "Managers may find that encouraging their employees to volunteer is a beneficial retention and recruitment tool. Many professionals value the chance to give back to causes that are important to them and their community."

For those who aren't presently volunteering outside of work, the firm offered the following four tips for getting started:

  1. Find an organization in need. Search for organizations you care about in your community, and then contact them to see how they could use your help. Be sure to explain your particular skills and interests.
  2. Check with your employer. Many companies have ties to nonprofit organizations or facilitate charitable activities. Other companies offer volunteer matching or grant programs for those employees who give their time.
  3. Invite your colleagues to join you. One person can make a big impact, but there could be power in numbers if your coworkers come, too.
  4. Look beyond the holidays. There are community service opportunities available throughout the year, such as park cleanups and exercising for a good cause.



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