Being a volunteer isn’t always easy—in fact, it usually requires a lot of hard work. Those who feel the call to help others want to make an impact wherever they can. No matter what your volunteering looks like, some inherent traits make a volunteer better able to serve the people who need it most. Knowing some of the important characteristics of a good volunteer will help you become the best helper you can be.
Volunteering often means interacting with a lot of people. In certain places, such as food banks or a hospice care setting, your interactions with the people you want to help can make a world of difference. That doesn’t mean it will always be easy. Having a great deal of patience can help you better understand what the people you’re assisting go through and how you can help them best.
One of the most important characteristics of a good volunteer is humility in your work. You shouldn’t volunteer to help for any other reason than actually wanting to help people. Your volunteer work is about the people you offer assistance to; it isn’t about what you can get out of the experience.
Flexibility is an essential component of being a good volunteer. Charities and nonprofits often need more help than they receive, which means that volunteers need to be able to adapt to anything the organization might ask of them. You also need to show flexibility in how you deal with different people and their unique situations.
A good volunteer feels genuinely committed to the cause they support. There will be great times when everything comes together easily, and you’ll feel like you’re on a roll. However, there will also be times when things aren’t as fun, and you’ll need to buckle down and do some unglamorous work. This is when your commitment to the cause becomes crucial.
Choose a cause you care about when you want to volunteer. The more you care about the cause, the more passionate you’ll be about making it succeed. Passion will help you stay focused and driven, even when you need to make hard decisions. A passionate volunteer does more than just the bare minimum that someone asks of them.