It has been a month since we finished school (well I mean, our regular school period in the fall and winter terms). For many of us, at first we were relieved that we didn’t have to think about school for at least another 3 months. During the first one or two weeks of your summer vacation, you were probably having the time of your life: clubbing, partying, catching up on that favourite TV series of yours, or relaxing like a couch potato. However, here we are a few weeks into our break, and you may have come to a point where you’re running out of things to do – maybe you’ve finished that TV series of yours or you’re tired of beating League of Legends all day long, right? Allow me to provide you with one piece of advice: go out and volunteer.
I’m guessing you were probably expecting something else, but hey, volunteering definitely has its perks. Let me tell you how it was beneficial for me and why it can be for you:
1. You meet new people.
By volunteering, not only do you get a chance to meet new people, but you also get a chance to expand your networks – career wise, and shamelessly, social media wise. These new people, such as a volunteer coordinators or a supervisors, might become connections to future jobs or at least references for job applications or scholarships. If you’re volunteering for a cause you’re passionate about, you might also make friends who have similar interests as you, possibly establishing life-long relationships!
2. You learn or improve your skills.
Volunteering definitely provides everyone with opportunities to learn and improve their skills. When volunteering, you’re bound to work with other people. Whether you need to communicate with other volunteers to help set up or take down a booth, lead a workshop for a summer camp, etc., you are working on those communication skills. Volunteering can especially help improve interpersonal skills such as teamwork and leadership.
In my personal experience, I volunteered at a local music festival, and my job was to approach people to fill out a survey about the event. It was nerve wracking in the beginning as I was the type of person who was scared to get rejected. However, after this experience which dramatically helped me improve my confidence in talking to the public, I now use this ability to strategically fundraise for any event I’m involved with.
3. You get that warm, fuzzy feeling.
At the end of the day, volunteering is unpaid work. Volunteering is all about giving back to the community or helping out for a cause you support, whether you’re volunteering at a day camp, or at an animal shelter, or at a seniors’ home. The warm fuzzy feeling comes afterwards because you’re donating your time, and almost any organization would appreciate that kind of help.
4. Higher chance of getting jobs and scholarships.
As mentioned, in addition to expanding your network, you can also use the supervisors you meet as your references for your job applications and scholarships! References play a big impact on your chances of winning a scholarship or getting that job, simply because they are the witnesses of your great qualities (and to make sure that everything on your application isn’t a lie). Not only does volunteering allow you to have more connections for potential references, it can add extra flavour to your resume. Therefore, if your resume looks empty right now, volunteering is an easy way to fill up that gap!
Hopefully this has convinced you to become more motivated about volunteering. Volunteering may not necessarily be easy, but it’ll definitely pay off in the end. So what do you do when you become frustrated from boredom?