Ever considered applying for volunteer work, but not sure yet about the what, how and where? Hopefully this guide to volunteering can answer some of the burning questions you might have as we, at Ugly Ducklings Inc, celebrate International Volunteer Day.
Read on to find out more about volunteering and find out how two volunteers experience(d) their volunteer work abroad
Volunteering, what is it exactly?
Simply said, volunteering is giving your time to help out without expecting a payment in return.
Volunteer work can take on many forms and can take place in your own community or even abroad. Volunteering opportunities really vary from being a dog walker, to building schools in developing countries, and everything in between, and beyond.
Why would I want to become a volunteer?
It might sound like an overly utilized cliché, but as a volunteer you can really contribute to society. Even the smallest involvement can have a huge impact on someone’s life. Other aspects to realize is that it can help you forward as well, as you are able to develop new skills, practice your talents, improve your self-esteem and self-confidence, make new friends, and even increase your employability chances (yes, volunteering really does look good on your CV!).
Yes, I apply for a volunteering project!
There are millions of volunteering activities to choose from. It’s therefore good to think about what you’re interested in and what your skills are before applying.
- Are you a people-person?
- An animal lover?
- A sporty type?
- Do you want to help out in your local community?
- Or would you rather go abroad?
All of these are questions you have to ask yourself before applying for volunteering work.
What’s the next step?
The next step will be to search online for more information about the projects you’re interested in. Maybe you know someone who did volunteering work before? Ask him or her about their experiences, and you’ll be surprised how happy they are to share their stories with you.
Another important thing to take into account is how you will manage your time.
- How long would you like to commit to volunteer work?
- A week, one month, a year?
- Would you like to volunteer part- or fulltime?
Never try to over-commit yourself. Remember that you probably have other commitments too, like friends and family, work, hobbies…
Other questions to think about are for example what skills are needed for a specific project. Do you already have these skills or are you willing to obtain them during your time as a volunteer? Would you need any training? How much will the trip cost, as well as health insurance, and living?
Of course, you’re not alone in this. There are many organizations that can help you sort out all the things you need. Therefore, I’ve set out some resources that can help you to find volunteering work that is right for you:
List of volunteering organizations and websites
National volunteering work
International volunteering work
And there’s more!
I have two inspiring volunteering stories to share with you ugly ducklings. One of them is Laura’s experience. She is currently volunteering in Nepal. And did you see the picture at the top? That’s my friend Allison, who did some work in Guatemala.
Come back and check our next blog post to get even more motivated about this wonderful work.
Ugly Ducklings Inc’s Research Assistant