1.I Feel bored - The last reason you should contemplate volunteering is because you feel bored. There are 100 other ways to kill boredom. Working as a volunteer requires time,efforts and perseverance. It also calls for oodles of commitment. So of you are the type that gets bored easily,maybe you should try something that offers variety. However, if you are able to find volunteering opportunities that provide breadth and variety, this could be an option for you. Get to know the nature of opportunity before you volunteer.
2.My friends are doing it - As social animals, peer pressure is something that we find difficult to escape. But stop for a moment and think. What could be the reasons that motivate your friends to volunteer ? Are those same reasons applicable to you ? You don't have to do anything because your friends are doing it. As the quote says, " One of the greatest challenges in life is being yourself in a world that's trying to make you like everyone else."
3. Volunteering is the in thing now - Who doesn't like racking up facebook likes on our digital walls ?If you are a human being, you like to be liked and praised whether its online or off-line. The danger with approaching volunteering work as a fad is that fads change pretty fast. Volunteering requires sustained efforts and is not something that needs to be done ad-hoc or only for a short period of time. Would your interest sustain even when it is not the in-thing ?
4.I want to make a rapid change - Most volunteering opportunities involve addressing systemic issues that plague our society. Be it the environment,education or poverty alleviation these are complex issues which requires long term interventions. Change is excruciatingly slow, and in most cases require consistent support from volunteers. This takes time and cannot happen rapidly.
5.Volunteering looks good on my resume - When I happen to observe volunteering work mentioned on a resume, I ask questions in depth about the nature and scope of work done. I try to find out the intent. Is the individual continuing the engagement ? if not why ? Many a time, people volunteer for the right reasons. However, there are instances where people have no clue about what they volunteered for and how they were able to make a difference. If your volunteering experience involved visiting an old age home once a year wearing your company T shirt and clicking pictures to be uploaded within 24 hours, it would augur well for you to skip mentioning that on your resume.