- Making Leadership and Service Count in the Job Search
- Volunteer Experience Essay | Major Tests
Just because volunteer work is unpaid does not mean the skills you learn are basic.
Making Leadership and Service Count in the Job Search
Many volunteering opportunities provide extensive training. Volunteering can also help you build upon skills you already have and use them to benefit the greater community. For instance, if you hold a successful sales position, you can raise awareness for your favorite cause as a volunteer advocate, while further developing and improving your public speaking, communication, and marketing skills. Volunteering offers you the chance to try out a new career without making a long-term commitment.
It is also a great way to gain experience in a new field. Your volunteer work might also expose you to professional organizations or internships that could benefit your career. Bear in mind that the most valuable assets you can bring to any volunteer effort are compassion, an open mind, a willingness to pitch in wherever needed, and a positive attitude.
Volunteering is a fun and easy way to explore your interests and passions. Doing volunteer work you find meaningful and interesting can be a relaxing, energizing escape from your day-to-day routine of work, school, or family commitments. Volunteering also provides you with renewed creativity, motivation, and vision that can carry over into your personal and professional life. Many people volunteer in order to make time for hobbies outside of work as well.
You will have a richer and more enjoyable volunteering experience if you first take some time to identify your goals and interests. Think about why you want to volunteer. What would you enjoy doing? The opportunities that match both your goals and your interests are most likely to be fun and fulfilling. The best way to volunteer is to find a match with your personality and interests.
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Having answers to these questions will help you narrow down your search. There are numerous volunteer opportunities available. The key is to find a position that you would enjoy and are capable of doing. Ask yourself the following:. Sometimes an opportunity looks great on paper, but the reality is quite different.
Try to visit different organizations and get a feel for what they are like and if you click with other staff and volunteers. In fact, research shows that just two to three hours per week, or about hours a year, can confer the most benefits—to both you and your chosen cause. The important thing is to volunteer only the amount of time that feels comfortable to you.
Volunteering should feel like a fun and rewarding hobby, not another chore on your to-do list. To make sure that your volunteer position is a good fit:. Ask questions. You want to make sure that the experience is right for your skills, your goals, and the time you want to spend. You should be comfortable with the organization and understand the time commitment.
Give yourself some flexibility to change your focus if needed. If volunteering overseas, choose carefully. Some volunteer programs abroad can cause more harm than good if they take much-needed paying jobs away from local workers. Look for volunteer opportunities with reputable organizations.
The U. Bureau of Labor Statistics says that during the year ended September , approximately Religious organizations benefited from the highest number of volunteer hours, followed by educational programs and programs benefiting young people. Volunteer work comes in all shapes and sizes. Large organizations such as Habitat for Humanity provide an important service in communities around the world. Habitat builds decent, affordable homes for low-income families; as more people volunteer, more homes can be built.
On a smaller scale, local organizations play an important role by building safe play areas or raising funds to provide music lessons for low-income children. Many people believe volunteering will consume their free time. But according to a July article published by National Public Radio, micro-volunteering lets people volunteer in small bits of time, usually through their computer or cell phone. Each action can be accomplished in a small amount of time, but has a big effect in combination with the efforts of other volunteers.
During this time, America experienced the Great Awakening.
People became aware of the disadvantaged and realized the cause for movement against slavery. Younger people started helping the needy in their communities [ citation needed ]. During the American Civil War , women volunteered their time to sew supplies for the soldiers and the "Angel of the Battlefield" Clara Barton and a team of volunteers began providing aid to servicemen.
Volunteer Experience Essay | Major Tests
Barton founded the American Red Cross in and began mobilizing volunteers for disaster relief operations, including relief for victims of the Johnstown Flood in The Salvation Army is one of the oldest and largest organizations working for disadvantaged people. Though it is a charity organization , it has organized a number of volunteering programs since its inception. In the first few decades of the 20th century, several volunteer organizations were founded, including the Rotary International , Kiwanis International , Association of Junior Leagues International , and Lions Clubs International.
The Great Depression saw one of the first large-scale, nationwide efforts to coordinate volunteering for a specific need. During World War II, thousands of volunteer offices supervised the volunteers who helped with the many needs of the military and the home front , including collecting supplies, entertaining soldiers on leave, and caring for the injured. After World War II , people shifted the focus of their altruistic passions to other areas, including helping the poor and volunteering overseas.
A major development was the Peace Corps in the United States in When President Lyndon B. Johnson declared a War on Poverty in , volunteer opportunities started to expand and continued into the next few decades. The process for finding volunteer work became more formalized, with more volunteer centers forming and new ways to find work appearing on the World Wide Web. According to the Corporation for National and Community Service in , about Volunteer hours in the UK are similar; the data for other countries is unavailable.
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In , after the so-called revolutionary war in Cuba ended, Ernesto Che Guevara created the concept of volunteering work. It was created with the intention that workers across the country volunteer a few hours of work on their work centers. Many schools on all education levels offer service-learning programs, which allow students to serve the community through volunteering while earning educational credit. Giles, Jr. Giles, it succeeds by the fact that it " Giles conducted a national study of American college students to ascertain the significance of service learning programs,  : xvi According to Eyler and Giles,"These surveys, conducted before and after a semester of community service, examine the impact of service-learning on students.
When we sit down with a group of students to discuss service-learning experiences, their enthusiasm is unmistakable. Skills-based volunteering is leveraging the specialized skills and the talents of individuals to strengthen the infrastructure of nonprofits, helping them build and sustain their capacity to successfully achieve their missions. An increasingly popular form of volunteering among young people, particularly gap year students and graduates, is to travel to communities in the developing world to work on projects with local organisations.
Activities include teaching English, working in orphanages, conservation, assisting non-governmental organizations and medical work. International volunteering often aims to give participants valuable skills and knowledge in addition to benefits to the host community and organization. Also called e-volunteering or online volunteering , virtual volunteering is a volunteer who completes tasks, in whole or in part, offsite from the organization being assisted. They use the Internet and a home, school, telecenter or work computer, or other Internet-connected device, such as a PDA or smartphone.
Virtual volunteering is also known as cyber service, telementoring, and teletutoring, as well as various other names. Virtual volunteering is similar to telecommuting , except that instead of online employees who are paid, these are online volunteers who are not paid. Micro-volunteering is a task performed via an internet-connected device. An individual typically does this task in small, un-paid increments of time. Micro-volunteering is distinct from "virtual volunteering" in that it typically does not require the individual volunteer to go through an application process, screening process, or training period.
Environmental volunteering refers to the volunteers who contribute towards environmental management or conservation. Volunteers conduct a range of activities including environmental monitoring, ecological restoration such as re-vegetation and weed removal, protecting endangered animals, and educating others about the natural environment.
Volunteering often plays a pivotal role in the recovery effort following natural disasters, such as tsunamis, floods, droughts, hurricanes, and earthquakes. For example, the Great Hanshin-Awaji earthquake in Japan was a watershed moment, bringing in many first-time volunteers for earthquake response. The Indian Ocean earthquake and tsunami attracted a large number of volunteers worldwide, deployed by non-governmental organizations , government agencies, and the United Nations. During the hurricane Sandy emergency, Occupy Sandy volunteers, formed a laterally organized rapid-response team that provided much needed help during and after the storm, from food to shelter to reconstruction.
It is an example of mutualism at work, pooling resources and assistance and leveraging social media. Resource poor schools around the world rely on government support or on efforts from volunteers and private donations, in order to run effectively.