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I was approached by colleagues through my first year of college, who proposed me to join an NGO. I accepted the proposal with the thought that I do not have a way to get a job from the first year anyway, and maybe make friends with someone. My experience, however, did not take long, about half a year. I choose as any student, to get hired part-time and earn some money.
My surprise was the first employment interview, where I expected to be asked about the season jobs I had through high school. However, among the first questions of the recruiter were those related to volunteering. So: What activity did I do as a volunteer? What did I learn every day? What made me work as a volunteer?
Obviously, I was not ready for those questions, but I did, I told him exactly what I did. What surprised me? The fact that the recruiter did not reach the previous job, I felt I was called to the interview just for this experience.
How volunteering can help you in your future career:
If you are a student or a fresh college graduate, and you have little to go through in your resume, then the experience you have had as a volunteer will help you. Young people who experience such a learning experience are very well seen by employers, they appreciate people with initiative. Moreover, from the experience as a volunteer, the employer can figure out how organized you are, since engaging in such activities forces you to share your courses, seminars and your role in the community you are part of.
Another advantage of volunteering is that you can put a project on your mind, starting from an idea. You have all the freedom to try, to test. And in this way, you will realize if you can work in such an environment and if you can organize both yourself and the team you are working with.
And because we were talking about the team, as a volunteer you have the opportunity to work with different people, but the goals link you. And if you have not done that before, or if you are a shy person who does not speak in public, then you will see that here you meet more people like you. And together, you can develop both beautiful projects and the ability to work in a team, collaborate, communicate and share merits. Such an experience will teach you to work collectively, and in the future, you will adapt more easily to the different personalities of the people.
When you come up with a new idea, it comes with various challenges that you often have to overcome with the help of creativity. Of course, the level of creativity depends on where you work as a volunteer. But I can assure you that whatever your sector of activity, you will be able to develop your creative spirit.
Some NGOs have various exchange programs with colleagues from other countries. And besides being able to see new cultures and meet people with interesting stories, you can also learn a foreign language. And that will really help you in your future career.
So even if at the moment it seems like a waste of time and such activity does not bring you any financial gain, think about the long-term advantages, the fact that the employers like the people involved and that you will learn everyday things you can then put into practice at a future job.
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