International Volunteer Day – What To Know

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By Demola Oriyomi Ademola

A volunteer is someone who contributes time, effort and talent to meet a need or further a mission, without going on the payroll.  Volunteering activities are of different types. It could be micro-volunteering, online volunteering, and skills-based volunteering.  People choose to volunteer for different reasons. For some, it is an opportunity to give back to society. For others, it provides an opportunity to develop new skills or develop existing experience and knowledge. Regardless of the motivation, what unites both is that it helps in self-development and societal development. 

 We all have busy lives, it can be hard to find time to volunteer. But one thing many people do not understand is that volunteering comes with enormous benefits. The right match can help to explore career options and aid professional development.

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While it is true that the more time you volunteer, the more you stand to benefit, volunteering does not have to take your entire time to be beneficial, in fact, research has shown that just four or six hours a week can accord the most benefits. Volunteering should be fun, not another chore on your to-do list. Hence, volunteer-only the amount of time that feels comfortable for you. 

Volunteering is not just an opportunity to create a positive impact in your community, it also contributes a great deal in your job search and professional reputation as it helps boost your resume helps you to determine your career goal, and present you an opportunity to upgrade your chains of network. 

Do you need counselling on volunteering decisions? Here are the tips you need to understand before making your final decisions to be a volunteer.

  • Understand why you are volunteering. 

This is the most important aspect of your journey as a volunteer. You definitely have to understand why you are volunteering for a particular crusade or mission. This will help you actualize your purpose of volunteering. 

  • Don’t volunteer for money

In most cases, the fundamental essence of volunteering is to contribute your quota to the development of your society, that is, making the world we live in a better place for all. Always try as much as possible to make self-sufficient arrangement for yourself while volunteering. Feel less entitled to food, water e.t.c from the organization you’re volunteering for. This makes you a unique volunteer. 

  • Be a unique volunteer. 

To be a unique volunteer, you have to be distinct in thinking by coming up with creative solutions to problems. Always ensure that your service as a volunteer is felt and positively impacts your society. 

Ensure that you are volunteering for a cause that is in line with your passion and interest so that you will not find the exercise boring. This is one of the common mistakes youth makes in the cause of volunteering. Volunteering should be fun and engaging not otherwise. 

Whatever you are good at can be put to good use with nonprofit and local agencies. You stand a chance of being recommended to reputable organizations through utilizing whatsoever skills you have while volunteering. It is a fact that these days, most reputable jobs are gotten through recommendation. 

And finally, try several volunteering possibilities: sometimes, an opportunity looks good on paper, but the reality is totally different. Visit different organizations and understand what they do is in line with your goal and aspirations.