Who does that? That is, taking on some professional work for no or very little pay.
A well-worn picture that, may come to your mind, is maybe one of a young foreign person clad in a citenge shirt or dress smiling in the middle of laughing school children. Or it may be one of an elderly woman, also foreign, also laughing with a group of women in a maize field (obviously showing off their crop).
Even if these may not be the pictures that come to mind for you when the word volunteer is mentioned, you should be following suit.
Here are 4 reasons why.
You will improve on what you already know
Start by paying attention to the appeals for help in your community and find an opportunity that utilises your skills. Contributing to a fund raising event for your church or child’s school is indeed a good place to start but you can cast your net wider and offer your skills say, at the Community Centres (Welfare), a youth organisation, hospice, theatre groups or professional associations.
Offer your organisational, legal, nursing, social, accounting, marketing, public speaking, team-building or project management skills and watch how they improve as you volunteer yourself.
You will come away with a new skill
Some organisations that you volunteer to may give some form of initial training before you lend them a hand. It could be in first aid, counselling, polling or simply phone etiquette. This extra training may or not come with a certificate but it is a new skill and it is worth mentioning.
You will impress a lot of the right people
Taking an interest in community problems and contributing to projects always shows that you are compassionate, have a positive attitude, are willing and open minded.
Your boss will consider promoting you sooner than later. Your customers will see you doing something good and reward you with their loyalty. Your network will respect you and even offer to help; which can only be a good thing for the community. And you made it happen.
You will have done something different for a change
This change might even change you. You may discover talents you never thought you had and you will come away with a new list of strengths, a new list of contacts and a new list of opportunities. Also, at the end of the process you will be a different person and a better person.