Hints on Volunteering and Looking for Volunteer Positions
Doing volunteer work has many advantages. You gain new skills, you meet like-minded people, and you gain a sense of satisfaction from helping the organization of your choice. Sometimes, after volunteering, the organization may even decide to hire you for a job. It may also be useful to have someone write you a letter of reference, or perhaps simply putting it down on your resume sometimes shows your dedication to society.
Choose your volunteer position with care. Carefully choose your volunteer to reflect a cause that you believe in and something where you think you would enjoy volunteering in. Try also to choose a position where they may teach you skills that you think will benefit you in the future, or perhaps a position where you are able to practice some newly-learned skill. Make sure that the organization that you volunteer has a clear mission statement about their goals and that they do try to implement them. Don't choose a corrupt organization.
Take your volunteer position seriously. Treat your volunteer job as if it were a paid job. That's the only fair way to treat it. Give it your best and you will be rewarded many times over.
Check the time commitment carefully. Make sure you can go during the times that you decide to volunteer. Don't commit to volunteer at that organization if you do not think that you can make it as often or for as long a time as they would like. You do not want to seem like someone who has to keep taking time off, even if it is only a volunteer job.
Try different volunteer jobs. You do not need to stay in the same volunteer job for years, even though you are definitely welcome to do that. If you would like, experience different volunteer positions and get a flavor as to how different organizations operate and so that you can learn new skills. At the same time, it might be a good idea to keep in touch with those old volunteer positions because you may one day need an extra reference. Perhaps try some one-day volunteer experiences too so that you learn from those experiences as well. Even when there are no volunteer positions explicitly advertised anywhere, you can try to speak to the organization and ask them about opportunities for volunteering. Also be forewarned that just because you decide to give your time for free, the organization may already have too many volunteers or decide not to choose you. Don't be disappointed, just find another organization.
Of course, if you are really busy in your life, do not try to cram in an extra volunteer job. Do it if you have extra time and would like to help out, but don't let it be some burden.
In summary, successful volunteering involves that you
A. Choose your volunteer position carefully
B. Take your volunteer position seriously
C. Check the time commitment carefully
D. Try various volunteer jobs
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