In one of Lord Chesterfield’s letters to his son on the art of becoming a man of the world and a gentleman, he laid emphasis on giving whatsoever you are doing your best shot. In his own words; whatever is worth doing at all is worth doing well.
I’d liken volunteering to the planting of seeds: it’s a call to serve, explore and make remarkable impact in the lives of others. It’s hard work but just like every other work, it comes with that sense of accomplishment you get from a task well done, and it is worth celebrating.
However, when you put in quality work, there are more fruits to enjoy from your labour.
What is Volunteering?
Volunteering is a call to live a selfless life. To volunteer implies that you are freely offering to do a thing for the greater good of a larger circle.
Volunteering is about committing your expertise, time and/or resources to a cause, organization, community or even private individuals without necessarily expecting anything in return.
In every community, there is work to be done. In every nation, there are wounds to heal. In every heart, there is the power to do it.
~ Marianne Williamson
As a matter of fact, a society that lacks selfless individuals might not experience true progression. More than ever before, communities and nations are in need of people with a genuine desire to help others and be of service.
Volunteers are a spice to the lives of those in need, those who profit from their labours. It’d interest you to know that volunteering cuts across various spheres of life.
How Should You Volunteer?
If you are interested in volunteering or are already a volunteer, you will need to think deeply about how you can make the most out of your experience. I have curated below some pertinent questions to ask yourself.
What do you intend to achieve from volunteering?
- commitment to a cause;
- something you want to do for personal satisfaction;
- experience for a future job or to improve your resume;
- network and interaction with other people with similar interests.
What are you willing to give?
- financial resources;
- skills and expertise.
Identify what you are willing to give and be consistent. It is important that your volunteering vehicle (why you are volunteering and what you are putting in) reflects your ideals and values.
If you are passionate about environment and climate change, you should be more involved in clean-up exercises.
If you like writing, help an organization with its written materials such as newsletters and blogposts. You’d hone your skills and unconsciously become a bad – ass copywriter.
If event planning is your thing, your expertise in organizing events, raising funds and/or taking on administrative tasks will be of tremendous benefit.
Of What Use Is a Volunteering Opportunity or Experience?
Over the years, I’ve come to realize that small but consistent and purposeful actions are the game changer. The actions taken now prepare you for a more significant and impactful action to be taken in the future.
Volunteering affords you the opportunity to actively practice your skills in a risk – free atmosphere. It’s such an amazing way to actively observe, gain implicit knowledge and gradually assert your expertise by practice.
While volunteering offers vital help to people in need, worthwhile causes, and the community, the benefits can be greater for a volunteer. The right match can help you find friends, connect with the community, learn new skills, and even advance your career.
In summary, volunteering will give you:
- a new network;
- an opportunity to test your unique ideas and iterate.
Learn how to find the right volunteering opportunity for you. It is an important step to bigger and better things in your life.
How to Find the Right Volunteer Opportunity?
The appropriate way to find the right volunteering opportunity is to Research. While people invest themselves into things they have a flair for, it is quite important that your choice aligns with your overall goals and aspirations.
Your end game should be clear from the beginning. For instance, if you want to start a waste management company, volunteering with an environmental organization will be a perfect match.
Let me be your volunteering opportunities plug.
If you are:
- interested in SDGs 1 & 2, Passion for Help
- a lover of events; Volunteers Hub Africa
- interested in SDGs 3&4; The Bethel Initiative
- interested in spreading kindness on the internet; Goodnotes
- an environment enthusiast, Eleven Eleven Twelve Foundation
- interested in Politics as a woman, ElectHer and Girls Just Want to Run
- interested in Leadership and Education; Fashioned and Made for Excellence Initiative (FAME)
- interested in having a feel of simulating the United Nations; Babcock International Model United Nations;
- interested in getting young people in civic leadership and social entrepreneurship in Nigeria; Sozo Networks.
How to Make Your Volunteer Experience Worth the Investment?
Universal truth: if you want to get ahead at work and stand out as a lighthouse, you will have to consistently do good work and always be on the lookout for opportunities to do more.
To make your volunteering experience worth the investment, be totally invested in it. Carefully select a worthy cause and give it all it takes.