Guest Post: 7 Reasons To Kick-Start Your Career By Being A Volunteer
If you are finding it hard to break into a new field, maybe you should be looking a little further out. Most employers demand relevant experience and proven skills, which those looking to start a career just do not have. A quick stint of volunteering overseas could give you the experience you need and help your CV stand out from the pack.
1. Thrills. So you need to build up skills for a new career? Well, you could just grab a lowly position locally and push papers waiting to be noticed or you could get some real-life experience and some real thrills by volunteering in exotic locations around the globe.
The only papers you will need to get in order are your travel visas as you get the chance to see beyond the tourist trail in Thailand, Fiji, China or the majestic landscapes of Africa. Escape the daily drill and get a real thrill in stunning locations all over the world.
2. Skills. Of course volunteering is not all about the thrill. Employers demand evidence of real skills, and volunteer organisations such as Projects Abroad (http://www.projects-abroad.ca) can give you the chance to gain these in fields as varied as journalism, care, medicine, archaeology, teaching, development, human rights, conservation, marketing and many more.
These are skills learnt in real situations and practiced in difficult circumstances: they prove you can cut it when the going gets tough.
3. Put yourself on the map (1). Volunteering overseas will reveal your commitment to a profession so much more than a 10-week training course can. It makes your intentions and dedication crystal clear and helps your CV to stand out from the pile. After all, a couple of months in Tanzania are a talking point – a training course is just another bullet point.
4. Put yourself on the map (2). You will be placing yourself on the map in more ways than one, however. Volunteering overseas is an intense experience shared with a team of international volunteers. You will bond quickly with other volunteers and be coming home with cheap holiday opportunities with new-found friends all over the world.
5. Take a hip trip. With the advent of voluntourism – that is, volunteering on projects to travel the world – volunteering is sexy. Many say it is the best way to travel – letting you really get to know the places you visit while you gain new skills and meaningful experiences.
Recent celebrity volunteers helping make it the ultimate hip trip include George Clooney, Brad Pitt, Angelina Jolie, Bono, Ben Affleck, Matt Damon and Charlize Theron.
6. Try before you buy. Volunteering overseas is a great way to try before you buy, or look before you leap. If you are thinking of applying for overseas work, it is the ideal way to test the waters before taking the plunge.
Similarly, if you are thinking of entering a new field, it offers a great way to see if the grass really is greener. There are organisations that offer short projects to make this possible – care and community and sports programs for 16-19-year-olds, for instance. Here you can find additional information on this project. Volunteering is a great way to not believe the hype and see for yourself.
7. Budge the drudge and catch the buzz. Sitting behind the computer conducting online job searches and firing off endless CVs is a bore. It can sap your energy, motivation and enthusiasm. Volunteering overseas lets you gain the skills you need to get those interviews and will gives you a buzz that will help you impress at those interviews.
Stop waiting for an opportunity and start doing something that will create it. See you on the next rung of the career ladder!