Explaining how to experience better health can often be frustrating,
Can I do better telling you how to earn more money?
“The research is clear, you’ll live longer,” I emphasize when I lecture about the health benefits gained by certain kinds of volunteering that reduce stress. When discussing my study involving more that 3,300 persons—and where the term “helper’s high” was created and first introduced—I describe the physical and emotional health gains enjoyed from helping strangers regularly. This study was the forerunner for Washington’s 2007 report on the “Health Benefits of Volunteering.” That document dramatically declared that there was now enough research to show “that those who volunteer have lower mortality rates.”
Yet the longer-life promise has created just a moderate growth in personal-contact volunteering, which produces emotional highs and endorphins, that buffer stress. That is what is now prompting me to talk about how helping others can lead to employment and also earning more money on the job. Here are four reasons why volunteerism benefits your bank account as well as your body:
–The interview: Job interviewers say they need to find employees who can deal with diverse groups in our ever more heterogeneous work force. Volunteering is one of the few ways you have to prove you have that experience.
–Hard working: There are the unemployed who continue to search for a job, and there are those who, while searching for employment, can describe their volunteer activities during this tough period. Which applicants can better show they go the extra mile?
–Creativity: An important but difficult attribute for the employer to identify. The applicant who volunteers can discuss the difficulties of reaching out and getting through to the poor, the immigrant, the school dropout, the disabled—whomever she or he is working with. There is nothing more creative than being able to affect the behavior of another person, to counsel, influence and mentor them in a positive way.
–Trust: The concern of every employer about every new potential employee. Someone donating their time to help others appears to the interviewer to be someone far less likely to take advantage of people or a situation. They are deemed more reliable and trustworthy.
In conclusion, perhaps you feel that you are so young that the ability to add years to your life by helping others isn’t a compelling enough advantage at your age. Then consider volunteering, becoming a mentor, or providing a helping hand to others as a way to obtain employment or receive more recognition on the job, that could lead to more income. These are challenges facing everyone in the midst of this recession and especially confronting the unemployed younger person.
And along with that paycheck and the path to a potential career, the research will throw in that you’ll live longer by experiencing the helper’s high.
If you have found new employment or have been recognized in the workplace because you have helped others through volunteerism, please let me know. Email me at email@example.com.