Wednesday, January 15, 2014

Glance to the future, a. k. a. Why volunteering?

On my first days here in Sofia I was first of all amazed by the quantity of young people from all around the Europe coming to work on Voluntary basis. Before arriving and meeting them all, I have faced this quite skeptical attitude of people from my environment at home country. The attitude of “is this going to be of any benefit for you?” With the departure date approaching I had more and more thoughts and doubts reflecting this attitude of others. However, all of that was dispelled a soon as I saw this incredible variety of young adults ready to devote themselves for voluntary work and at the same time gain this invaluable experience.  All types of people - from recent high school graduates to nearly 30-year-olds with several master’s degrees and solid “normal” working experience.  Therefore, I feel that it is essential to emphasize, why volunteering is a right choice at any point of one’s life and how it is going to be beneficial for you (a.k.a. shut the skepticism):
  • ·         If you are a recent high school or bachelors graduate, it is a perfect way to get a better Idea for your future career and it helps with a right alternative when choosing your major or a master’s degree.It is no secret that most of youngsters graduate high schools with having no clear understanding what is law, accounting, public relations, international management and other things that at this stage of life may indeed sound like curse words. And even the most exhaustive study program description would not help to get it right. On the other hand volunteering helps youngster to get some insights of the field that interest them. Moreover, volunteering experience may be just what Admission board of the university is looking in your cover letter. 
  •      If you are recent Master’s graduate and want to start your career in a particular field, you probably have faced this enchanted circle of “We do not hire you due to lack of experience ↔ I do not have working experience, because no one hires me”.  Thus volunteering can be a perfect start of your working experience if you get into a project that corresponds with your education ad degree. Moreover, employers love it when employee has empirical experience in his/her field, and does not only rely on theory.
  •      If you are someone who is simply not happy with the way your career and/or life have developed, volunteering is a perfect opportunity to take a break and re-think your priorities. It is not mere travelling, where you will only spend money and feel guilty for taking this break.  It is also not wasting your time on doing nothing and at the end coming to the state of mind of being desperate when looking for new job and regretting quitting an old one.
  •    Volunteering opens your mind and helps you to accept and integrate with different people.
  •     Volunteering makes you feel like you are contributing to the society not only by raising GDP, but also by adding more value to its moral evolvement which also makes you grow as a personality.
  •    Volunteering improves your social, relationship skills; it increases self-confidence, not even mentioning that it may be a start of life-long friendships and relationships.

So catch your opportunity! And the skeptics? Try to make them provide some logical rebuttals for the above-mentioned. 

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