Most people think of retirement as a time when they plan on doing all the fun things that they had to forgo because of the demands made on them by their job. However, there are an increasing number of baby boomers who view retirement as a time when they can contribute to the society, and hence seek opportunities to do volunteer work.
Apart from giving retiring baby boomers the chance of using their vast knowledge and skills which they have accumulated over the years, many of them find volunteer work a source of incredible fulfillment, often giving new purpose and meaning to life. On leaving a career, most baby boomers need some kind of new activity to regain the meaningfulness of life. In fact, experts agree that one of the most important factors of aging well is to find this kind of purpose and meaning in life.
Some of the ways in which volunteering can add to the meaningfulness of life are: using abilities, wisdom, knowledge and skills in purposeful and new ways; enriching others lives; learning new skills; making a difference for the better to the community or even the world; feeling good about how time is being utilized.
Volunteer work can involve any sort of activity like writing letters, answering telephone calls, caring for people, running errands, shopping and delivering things to shut-ins, and the like. One of the most fulfilling things that you can do is to spend time reading to terminally ill children at the hospital in your area. There are many people who provide a lot of pleasure to people with visual impairment by reading for recorded books. Another valuable way in which you can contribute is to help with crisis or homework hotlines.
If you are a retiree, and feel volunteer work is for you, you can find opportunities for volunteering all around you. All you need to do is be open to new kinds of ways of helping other people and know where to look for such opportunities. For example, you could check with the hospitals in your locality, or a VA hospital near you, hospices, nursing homes, charitable organizations, the police, and the fire department. Community and government organizations also require volunteers to help them out in many ways.
Also check with your church, they usually require volunteers to do various things such as teaching less privileged children, cooking, delivering food or groceries to shut-ins, and so on. The Internet is also a great source of finding a wide variety of volunteering work.
Of course, every person will need to look for the organization and offer the kind of volunteering work that suits their interests and skills the best. But you can be assured that whatever abilities or skills you have, there will be some organization either in your locality or some worldwide organization, which will require them. If this kind of activity is new to you, it may come as a pleasant surprise to find out the sense of accomplishment and purpose that you can derive from it. All you need to do is find a niche that you feel you can be the most useful in, and you will soon discover the many ways you have the ability to make that difference that brings so much amelioration and joy to others, which can be such a rewarding and joyous experience for you in return.
© 2008 Anna D. Banks, GCDF
Anna D. Banks, a passionate advocate for baby boomers in exploring their priorities, planning and setting goals for the next stage of their lives. Assisting her clients to attract and build a professional and personal life consistent with their values is not just a goal of Anna's, it's her passion. Her diverse work experience in business, education and financial services enables her to help the diverse population of baby-boomers with their life, career, and personal finance coaching needs. Anna is currently Adjunct Faculty at Essex County College, where she teaches Career Development & Management.
Do you have any questions about career development or lifestyle changes for Baby Boomers, which you think others, like you, would want to know the answers? Please place a post on http://babyboomer-retirement-tips.blogspot.com or email your questions to me at Anna@AnnaBanks.com