“We make a living by what we get, but we make a life by what we give”-Winston Churchill
Long hours coupled with work and family responsibilities can often leave us feeling drained. If we are not careful about balancing our work and personal lives, we can experience dissatisfaction with our career and a lack of focus and drive. A recent article written in HBR.org by Ran Zilca, the Chief Data Science Officer at Happify, Inc. found that after analyzing data from their app, two things were important to being satisfied with work: having a life outside of work, and having the money to afford it.
Our spirit and passion for work can be reignited with volunteering. Volunteering allows you to have a life outside of medicine. It enhances the mind, body and spirit through physical, mental and social activities. It allows you to get back in the saddle and find joy again. You can begin to reassess your initial reason for entering a career in medicine and develop a new outlook.
There are many benefits to volunteering:
It increases your social interactions
Being in the presence of others who share the same mission can increase your sense of belonging as well as promote relationships, both personal and professional, that can last a lifetime.
It provides a level of self-esteem and satisfaction
Volunteering can help you develop a personal sense of accomplishment. Often due to increased stress associated with our field, we may feel dissatisfied with our career. We may also feel like we are no longer in control of our work environment. Volunteering allows you to explore your passions that may guide you back to your true purpose.
It provides career experience
Serving on an advisory board or volunteering your skills like writing, marketing, health care or business development can enhance your resume and provide you with opportunities that you may not be exposed to on your job.
It teaches career skills
Volunteering can teach skills that can translate to any profession; how to work as a team member, time management, coordinating projects and programs, public speaking.
It provides health benefits
There are many health benefits to volunteering as well. Volunteering leads to increased physical activity which is good for your heart and blood pressure and it can also reduce stress by providing positive feelings when helping others. According to the American Psychological Association, those who volunteered at least 200 hours in one year had a lowered risk of developing hypertension than those who did not volunteer.
You can decide to volunteer as often or as little as you like. Even small acts of kindness can benefit others in huge way.
The following are organizations that you can contact for volunteer opportunities:
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