Michael Staisil encourages community works by anyone physically or fiscally capable of helping others. Not everyone has the money to donate to a cause or organization but even low-income individuals have volunteered to build a safe and strong community. As a successful business professional, Michael Staisil returned to Harvard Business School to encourage philanthropic work from staff, alumni, and students.
“People don’t realize there are many personal benefits associated with volunteer work,” says Michael Staisil. There are many positive emotions associated with volunteer work such as pride, a sense of accomplishment, and a satisfaction of seeing work well-done. “The same time people feel good about the work they do, they are also improving valuable skills like problem solving, management, and leadership,” says Michael Staisil. Volunteer work is also great for connecting with others and networking.
According to Michael Staisil, the benefits of working as a volunteer are still being researched. Volunteers come in all ages but the greatest benefit found amongst volunteers are typically with children. “The argument for the benefits of older volunteers comes from them having a sense of purpose and providing them a safe and secure social setting where they promote positive change,” says Michael Staisil.
Other benefits of volunteering have been simply labeled. “There are many benefits, not limited to overcoming stress, depression, and remaining healthier for longer,” says Michael Staisil. However, the health benefits of volunteer work cannot be forced. “The health benefit of volunteering is negated if you are doing the work out of a sense of obligation. The positive benefits of volunteering is correlated with feeling positive about what you do. If you feel forced then stress increases and that is not healthy,” says Michael Staisil.
If you are new to volunteer work, Michael Staisil says you should give it time – you may enjoy volunteering for one cause over another. His advice: “Look at different organizations, find a cause that interests you. If the effort interests you, you will enjoy your work as a volunteer,” says Michael Staisil.
For information on the health benefits of volunteer work, Michael Staisil recommends reading from the following sites: