When it comes to volunteerism we mostly shun it completely and try our best to make the A on the exam score sheet. I find this funny especially considering the current landscape of jobs in Ghana. Volunteerism basically giving your services for free mostly for social projects like education provision in remote areas. In Ghana, there are several organizations which depend on their volunteers to get a lot of work done while impacting on society and improving the lives of various communities in the country. As human as we are, we usually want everything we do to have a direct effect on our lives which improves our personal lives directly because we think of ourselves first. So the question is, does volunteering have any benefits for the volunteer? How can volunteering change the life of a person? And why should we do more of volunteering?
Without wasting mush time, volunteerism has great prospects to taking you from rags to riches and a life full of opportunities if and only if you do it rightly and with all your heart and sincerity. Most often, we join volunteering groups simply because we want to benefit from what it offers but we forget that the aim of volunteerism is social impact and selflessness. It’s not about you all the time. So your first step to greatly benefiting from volunteerism is to give it all you have got and forget about the benefits. When the time for reaping comes, you’ll surely get your share of the volunteerism cake J
I once read a joke which awakened my spirit to the importance of volunteerism. It was a post which said now companies want people with 10 years of experience so why won’t we have unemployed graduates’ association in Ghana. I related with it. But I smiled because as a volunteer, you need not worry when you are asked for your experience history because you accumulate experience once you are a volunteer. This why it’s important to love what the organization you are volunteering for is doing and make sure it matches with what kind of job you want to do as a job or life work. Volunteering is actual work and any experience you gather will help you anywhere you go depending on what knowledge you need to draw from at each point in time. The real deal you get from volunteering is the self-development. I have volunteered for a couple of initiatives and I haven’t regretted any of them as they have helped me improve my life and taught me lessons I would otherwise would never learn or would learn when its quiet too late to do so. Companies want experience and as a student coming out without any work experience because school doesn’t provide you with any work and experience, volunteerism sounds like a very good bet to me.
Sense of responsibility
Volunteerism deals a lot with doing things voluntarily without being asked to do them or having to be forced to do them though they aren’t directly for your own benefit, you are happy doing what will make others happy. This whole process drills into your DNA which is your core call, your subconscious thinking a sense of responsibility for impact making. Life in itself is not about accumulation of properties or having so much money but about your contribution to the world around you. It doesn’t have to be the whole world. Whatever you do, do it with a sense of responsibility that anyone who sees you will immediately get touched to do something better for the community. There are somethings most will not do but are very necessary for society to keep going. Things like the environment are mostly not catered for many people, but it takes a strong sense of responsibility to take up initiatives to change how we behave toward the environment. Let’s all volunteer and develop that sense of responsibility for our lives as well as for the society at large. Peace!
Experience and exposure
I mentioned that as a volunteer you not only get a strong sense of responsibility for things often ignored by society but very important for continuity of society but that you gain a lot of experience doing so. Also, as part of the volunteerism package, you get to have experiences which expose you to things you may only see when you start to work. Which means you have a head start in what you do ahead of your peers who are not volunteers. You get to meet personalities who can easily help you in times of crisis, you get to travel and explore depending what you do as a volunteer and what you do. Exposure also entails the knowledge you gather while volunteering and how that impacts your life to do more and achieve more.
Students love their CVs so much yet the very things they can do to enrich their CVs are what they usually eschew doing. Well, call it our culture or whatever you may. I think this is a matter of attitude which puns from our inner believes and conditions. The problem is we have come to believe the notion of “protocol” The system isn’t that corrupted that much that you can’t genuinely obtain a job. I personally know a lot of people who have left the university with jobs and service requests waiting for them to take up, all in the name of volunteerism and the potential seen in them. Its nit protocol, its resourcefulness. Bing in a state of resourcefulness attracts people to you and sometimes that includes jobs and opportunities. Let’s not lose hope, the system is not that bad. Even if it is, it will take “Us” to change things. Lets be the change we want to see in our world. It takes being resourceful in your area of work.
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Have access to New ideas
I have realized that anytime I volunteer for an initiative, I get a new idea or more. There are many possibilities in the world but it depends on who you ask. If you ask those who have made it and you call them successful people, they’ll tell you the world is full of opportunities. Imagine, every problem is an opportunity. Easy cheesy, huh? Yeah! Problems are the opportunity for entrepreneurs because they are innovative, they are problem solvers. If you didn’t know, let me inform that solving problems create wealth and solutions come from ideas. People want to connect with their friends and loved ones, create Facebook. People want to have access to information from the world, create a channel to provide them that. The world is hungry, grow food for it. All you need to succeed is ideas and you are ready to go. The exposure from volunteering will teach the smallest and biggest problems of the world. It will also teach you the solutions to some of these problems. It’s up to you to choose and Volunteering is fun.
Do not forget this…
You are the product after graduation but you don’t advertise the product because there are many others who may even be better than you in terms of results, I mean those on your transcript. You advertise your lifestyle. Volunteerism opens you to a whole new world of self-improvement which gives skills which gives you a better lifestyle full of experiences to advertise. Products are very many but what makes you different?