Make volunteering in retirement very fulfilling and really sustainable

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One of the best activities for a retiree to take up is probably volunteering for a worthy cause, a wonderful way to give back. Volunteering is such a win-win situation. Volunteering is so good to keep you active, socially relevant and participate in community building. The organisation you volunteer with/for benefits from your efforts and support in sustaining and taking the cause forward. And most importantly, the end beneficiaries whose life is becoming better with your volunteering. The author, in the article below, shares a few guidelines that will serve you well on your volunteering journey. Team RetyrSmart

Make volunteering in retirement very fulfilling and really sustainable

Identify Why You Want to Volunteer

The first consideration when starting to look for volunteer opportunities is to identify what you want to get out of volunteering. Whether you are looking for animal companionship, want to give back to your community or are interested in socializing with other retirees, there are volunteering jobs that can help you meet your goal. Before signing on to any volunteer opportunity, make sure that it satisfies your needs first.

Focus on Passions and Talents

It may take time to locate a volunteer opportunity that suits your interests. The skills you developed during your career can often be used in new ways to produce better project outcomes and enhance the experiences of other volunteers.

Start Local

Local volunteer opportunities for senior citizens are a great way to feel more connected with the community and can lead to more meaningful personal relationships. Hospitals, senior centers, nonprofits and historical sites are excellent places to inquire about volunteer roles.Transportation costs and logistics are more manageable when you volunteer locally, and roles tend to be more sustainable and fulfilling when it’s around the corner from home.

Understand the Volunteer Process

Some volunteer roles have specific qualifications. That may feel like too much of an obligation. If you’re not willing to make a significant commitment up front, don’t. There are plenty of opportunities that require minimal commitment. You can show up and spend the day participating in activities without any preparation or paperwork.

Don’t Over-Commit

Remember that volunteering for organizations is work, even though it might not feel like it. Even the best organizations may ask too much of their volunteers. Start with a small commitment, perhaps one day per week, and then gradually add more time. If you like the organization and position, and it satisfies what you’re looking to get out of volunteering, then deepen the connection to the work and organization.

Bring a Friend or Spouse

Volunteering can be a great way to meet people and develop new friendships. However, entering a new volunteer position is undoubtedly less intimidating with a friend. If you discover a rewarding opportunity, spread the word if more volunteers are needed. Older adults are more likely to volunteer if they know where to find the right opportunities and have a friend with whom they can participate. Volunteering with a companion can strengthen your existing relationships and lead to more sustained and enjoyable volunteer experiences.

Don’t Be Afraid to Say ‘No’

Volunteer work can be demanding. If your role consumes too much of your time and mental capacity, slow down. Make sure you’re excited about volunteering your time. It should never feel like a job. And don’t let a negative volunteer experience discourage you from volunteering altogether. Speak up and find the right position that works for you.

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