Think volunteering is off the table just because you’re an introvert? It doesn’t have to be. Introverts possess an array of unique skills and aptitudes (some that you may not even be aware of yourself) that fit perfectly into the volunteering landscape.
Introverts can sometimes be painted in a negative light - shy, non-collaborative and unapproachable, and therefore not suited to volunteering. The reality is that introverts can thrive in volunteering roles - it’s just about working to your strengths.
- Hyper-focus: Introverts can typically focus for long periods of time, pondering challenges deeply and coming to thoughtful conclusions.
- Attention to detail: With their hyper-focus, introverts are also great at honing in on the details. If you ever want a piece of work to be done thoroughly, hand it to an introvert.
- Listening skills: Introverts often make great listeners, taking their time to understand how others are feeling and what’s driving their thoughts. This not only makes you a great team member, but also well-suited to companionship, mentoring or tutoring opportunities.
How to flourish in your volunteering role as an introvert
If you’re keen to volunteer in a way that energises you, instead of drains you, consider the following tips:
- Go remote: A remote-friendly volunteering role can help you conserve your energy and work in a focused manner.
- Limit your hours: Volunteer however many hours you feel comfortable with, start with just a few hours - there’s no point burning yourself out in your volunteering role.
- Work solo: There’s plenty of volunteering roles out there that involve working independently. This could be anything from gardening to data entry, providing you with the quiet time you need to work effectively.
- … But don’t be afraid to push yourself: While introverts enjoy their alone time, it doesn’t mean you have to work alone. Some of the gifts of introversion include great listening skills and empathy, so a companion or customer service role could still be well within your wheelhouse.
- Find a cause that matters: Volunteering for a cause that you’re passionate about will light a fire under you to push yourself out of your comfort zone and truly thrive in your role.
Volunteering opportunities for introverts
Whether you want to work to your strengths or push yourself out of your comfort zone, there’s a huge range of opportunities for introverts to get involved in. Here’s a just a few -