Develop Leadership Skills through Volunteering

Photo: Ismael Paramo

Why volunteering will help you to develop your leadership skills, advance in your career and live better

One of the core pillars of the European Leadership Programme is Service. As part of the programme, the fellows are invited to dedicate a certain amount of their time to volunteer. Society generally recognizes the action of “helping others” as a noble activity. However, at first, it seems difficult for some Fellows to understand why a programme based on leadership, such as the ELP, includes volunteering as one of its main pillars.


Usually, the answer comes later, during their first experiences of volunteering because helping others them an opportunity for self-reflection. It is a win-win situation. On the one hand, dedicating some of your own time to others is a support to society, to the excluded and to the community. On the other hand, it will help in your own growth, both spiritually and personally. The reasons are different.

First, serving others will help you to increase your happiness and will give you more energy in your daily life. Receiving a smile after serving coffee on a cold morning rather than waking up a bit later is priceless. It will boost your day, your energy and daily life. You will increase your productivity at work since you feel useful for a cause, for all society.

Moreover, volunteering is a good practice to develop leadership skills. You will need to understand the needs of other people, develop a strategy to solve their problems, work in teams, and deliver a service in a positive way. Helping others is more than just giving your time. It is investing your time and practicing certain skills in a different context.

Furthermore, in a world in which finding a job is becoming more difficult, volunteering might be your trump card. Indeed, volunteering will boost your network and it might lead to new career opportunities. Furthermore, recruiters and companies, in general, are more open to hire people who have volunteering experiences on their CVs.

Finally, volunteering should not be about personal benefit. Rather, helping others is a perfect investment of time and energy. We will help ourselves through helping others. We will give happiness to the world and we will receive it back.

Gianmarco Palermo

ELP Officer