People volunteer for various reasons. This is usually driven by a given cause, or guided by one’s conscience. Most people see volunteering as a form of charity, based on self-sacrifice and selflessness. The true motivation to volunteering involves the desire to help and serve others. However, this does not exclude other motivations. Below is an outline of other reasons why different people do volunteer work.

Some people volunteer so that they can feel needed, as well as the feeling that they have a purpose in life. It brings a sense of self-worth and increases one’s self esteem. It also acts as a form of contribution to the society where one lives. This usually makes the volunteers feel accepted, wanted, respected and valued in the society

Different people have different talents, abilities, knowledge, and skills. They therefore feel indebted when they keep it to themselves. They are therefore motivated by this ideology to help others by sharing what they already have. This action helps instill self-confidence in what they do. When such people do volunteer work, they gain a sense of self assurance, which helps them learn and keep their skills alive; this is also a reason for volunteering.

A majority of those who do voluntary work are motivated by experience. Therefore, they apply for volunteering with organizations so that they can build their resumes. Many organizations look for the amount of experience you have before hiring. For fresh graduates, the only way to gain such experience is through volunteering. This also acts as an assurance to an organization that one is not wholly motivated by the pay, but by service to humanity.

Most people, especially those who complete college or high school, lack relevant experience in the work environment and in leadership. They therefore see volunteering as a good opportunity to learn and interact with a real out-of-school environment. They interact with those in management, who already have experience, where they gain the relevant leadership skills through induction.

Most colleges and universities require that a student must go for attachment or internship with a different organization, for at least three months, so that he/she can have experience in real work environment. However, most organizations don’t hire inexperienced individuals on temporary basis. Therefore, the only way a student has to gain this experience, and realize the requirements of his/her academic institution is by doing volunteer work. This helps the volunteer to earn academic credit.

Some people do volunteering with the wrong drive. This is by acting as spies for different organizations, and competitors. They enter organizations as volunteers and are trusted with sensitive data, but instead use such information against the organization for personal (or the organization they work for) benefits. This is a common occurrence where competition is high between organizations. These volunteers act as “insiders” and watchdogs for a different organization that pays them for traded information.

Other people volunteer because no one else is there to undertake a given task. Therefore, they feel obliged to undertake the task. They do this either to help, or because of pressure from friends or family. They may also undertake the task to gain new friends or to impress their friends with their abilities. It may also be because of personal experience with the problem, and they do not want to have a repeat of such an occurrence, so the only way out becomes to undertake the task, even if no one is there to do it; thus preventing a similar occurrence, and future regret.

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