The Top 5 Reasons Volunteers Should Journal

3 May

As someone who values reflection as a process for bringing clarity to any professional situation, I am happy to share the top 5 reasons why I have found journaling to be beneficial to volunteers:

1)     Journaling is the most authentic (and most meaningful) self-evaluation tool a volunteer can use.

2)     It is an avenue for volunteers to document some of those “aha” moments that are unique to every volunteer challenge. These moments can be easily recalled later when brainstorming how to respond to a service need.

3)     Journaling is another way to keep a record of experiences for the purpose of career development. These experiences can be more readily referred to in a resume or interview when they have been documented.

4)     Journaling offers volunteers a personalized narrative history of their lives as volunteers. A volunteer’s journal is a keepsake of some of their most touching moments with clients, staff, fellow volunteers, and the community at large.

5)     There are many well known mental health benefits associated with journaling, including reduced stress and improved capacity to retain long-term memory.

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2 Responses to “The Top 5 Reasons Volunteers Should Journal”

  1. savvyphilanthropy May 6, 2010 at 11:47 pm #

    As a volunteer myself I couldn’t agree more! However, volunteers do need to be careful with how they write their “aha” moment. Taking someone else’s perspective works often, or more of a reflective blog post would be great. Jotting down stress only wouldn’t be beneficial to anyone though.

    And I agree wholeheartedly that blogs and other social media tools will be strategically used in screening applicants and can (and should in an appropriate setting) be used by job seekers to show interest, knowledge and understanding.

    • volunteerguru May 8, 2010 at 3:41 pm #

      Great advice, and I completely agree! Focusing on stress misses the point. Following up on those “aha” moments with examples of what else could have worked in the situation or what the situation may have looked like from all perspectives is a better way to put some of those documented challenges to work again in future.

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