Ready to dedicate some time to volunteering? Find out how you can find the right job!
Most of us are able to say that we’ve done some volunteer work but how many of us can testify to the true satisfaction we got from the experience? As you’re reading this page, we assume that you are now ready to find a volunteer work to devote your time to. Before we begin, give yourself a pat on the back!
Finding a suitable volunteer work isn’t rocket science – in fact, the search is instantly narrowed down by your interests and personal goals. Grab a pen and some scrap paper (or anything you can record down your thoughts on, really)! Here are some questions to mull over as you consider the right work:
- What do I want to do?
What do you hope to achieve from the work you do? Don’t be embarrassed by this! It could be something as beautifully simple as wanting to try something new (how about teaching children?), or something personally impactful such as being immersed in a new culture (or helping to lay the foundation of a new house overseas for a family?). In order to truly enjoy the volunteer work you’ll be doing, it is important that it can help you achieve personal goals in terms of self-development while giving back to the community at large. Without this guiding notion, it may be harder for you to be motivated to actually doing the work. Small steps eventually lead you to where you want to be.
- Who do I want to work with?
Do you have a preference for working with the children or the elderly? Perhaps furry friends? Wherever your preferences lie, it is highly unlikely that you’ll be going solo during your volunteer work since the whole idea is to combine efforts with other people to work towards a cause. You’ll be meeting a regular group of people, so don’t worry about being unable to socialise as you’ll feel more comfortable being around them with time! Instead, focus on the group of people (or animals) you want to lend a helping hand to.
- Why is it important to me?
Here’s where you have to start thinking about the core issue(s) of your volunteer work: what causes are important to you? If you can identify what you feel strongly about, such as the environment or elder care for example, you’re more than halfway to finding a suitable volunteer work! Take some time and serious consideration for this. Volunteer work is only as fulfilling as it connects you to a cause you take seriously.
- When will my skills come to use?
When you start out your volunteer work, be prepared to learn a lot. Your current skillset may be useful in getting you that bonus, but not so much for your volunteer organisation. That doesn’t mean that your skills and knowledge are totally useless, though! If your organisation needs help for something you know you’re good at, well, you know what you do. Otherwise, be ready to add new skills to your arsenal! Who doesn’t love a skills upgrade, though?
- How much resources can I commit?
No, we do not mean money. What we mean is, how much time and effort can you commit to the volunteer work? If you already have a regular job, planning will be much easier since you’ll be able to fix a schedule. But if not, there’s no cause for frowning either! Volunteer work is flexible and chances are the organisation you eventually choose will be more than happy to have you as and when you’re able to. Keep in mind other commitments you may already have such as family time. While it’s good to be out there doing as much as you can, this is probably where you’ll have to start narrowing down your options though! You don’t want to be too stretched out to enjoy volunteering and lose focus during work; that paperclip definitely does not work as a coffee stirrer.
Well your notes must be pretty full by now! We hope these questions have been useful in helping you decide on what volunteer organisation to choose, or how to start finding them. You can start by checking out with your local community centres, friends and family, and of course Google. You might even be surprised that someone in your social circle is already doing some volunteer work of their own! Excited yet? We know we certainly are for you! Drop us a comment on your thoughts and ideal volunteer work – we would love to hear from you.
In the meantime, here’s a video of a volunteer work Leah was a part of for some inspiration: