Why Should You Volunteer?

Volunteering seems a waste of time and effort without gaining anything in return to some people, are you one of them? It’s okay if you are, because in this blog we will explain to you why you should consider doing volunteer work and how it will be beneficial to you both personally and professionally. Yes you read that right, there are some professional benefits to being a volunteer that you will get to know later on.

 

Doing a board year is also an example of volunteering.

Hard Skills vs Soft Skills

As students we tend to focus more on hard skills. What do hard skills mean?

In a brief manner, hard skills are known as teachable abilities that are easy to quantify such as a degree or a certification, proficiency in a foreign language, computer programming, etc.

Although these skills are important for us to find a job and embark into professional life, they are not enough. Okay I know, you must be saying what more can I do other than study and have my degree or certification?

Let us introduce you to a different set of skills that are highly underrated by students: what are soft skills?

Soft skills or also known as people skills or interpersonal skills, the Collins English dictionary defines these skills as “desirable qualities for certain forms of employment that do not depend on acquired knowledge”. Soft skills include: communication, flexibility, leadership, teamwork, time management etc.

Okay, so now that you know the difference between hard skills and soft skills, how can you acquire them?

For the hard skills It’s your formal education, courses and trainings that you can take  in order to get your degree or certification, but how about the soft skills?

That’s when volunteering becomes relevant, formal education gets you equipped with a precise set of skills which are more technical but it doesn’t give you the full space to develop your leadership or teamwork for example.

What will you gain from being a volunteer?  

As a volunteer no matter which kind of work you’re doing you will get to develop these skills by practice, in addition you will gain a lot of benefits both personal a

nd professional that can be summarized in:

 

Volunteering abroad is great to explore a country while traveling and developing yourself at the same time.

Grow your network

This can be considered both as a personal and professional benefit. While working as a volunteer you will get to meet a lot of people and work with them closely, this will make your contact list longer and stronger. Not just will you have a lot of friends to chat and meet every once in a while. But also professionally as it will really enhance your chances in finding a job or internship. Because of your big network, which will give you more possibilities and exposure.

Gain experience and learn new skills

As a volunteer, you will get the chance to work in different areas and interact with a lot of people. By doing so, you will get familiar with it, your communication skills will develop, as well as time management, adaptability, negotiation, public speaking etc.

Improve your mental health

Being alone and not doing much interaction with others is not good for our mental health. Volunteering offers you the chance to do that while making a contribution to your community.

Make your life more meaningful

Volunteering is about giving back and in doing so you will get the sense that you’re part of something bigger. You will get to see your impact on others and how it’s making the world a little bit better.

Gain more confidence and self-esteem

A lot of people lack support. They may have friends but they’re not really supportive of them. This may be the case with you and that’s okay. You can always find real friends that will support you and be there for you. And volunteer work is a great space for you to find some, as I personally did. You will be more confident and really feel good about yourself because you will be in a supportive environment that will give you the chance to express yourself.

In the end, I want to leave you with this quote:

“Volunteers don’t get paid, not because they’re worthless, but because they’re priceless.”

– Sherry Anderson-

This post was written by AIESEC in the Netherlands. We offer international voluntary projects and professional internships with the aim of developing leadership in youth. 

Read more
A platform for YOUth

A platform for YOUth

This year AIESEC in The Netherlands is organizing its second Youth Speak Forum on the 29th of April in the Lighthouse in The Hague. Want to find out more about the event? Keep reading about Benjamins experience of attending last year's Youth Speak Forum! What is Youth...

The essence of feminism

The essence of feminism

How can we transmit the essence of feminism? -by Iasmina Caramidariu A lot of people are reluctant when it comes to feminism and gender equality. It still seems like a TABOO for people to talk about. Why is it so? Why is feminism seen in a bad name even if it's just a...

Climate Action in Italy

I will take you on a journey of climate action, joy, tears, and development through Italy. It was the 1st of June 2021 when I decided that I will go on a volunteering project with AIESEC  in Torino. I decided that I want to be part of the change. Bringing my...

How to make your marketing internship a success?

How to make your marketing internship a success?

When you look through the AIESEC opportunity portal and search for Global Talent projects, you come across loads of business and marketing internship. Lucky for you if you are interested in doing one of those! But you might wonder why there are so many? Well, that is...

Your exchange packing list

Your exchange packing list

As the summer vacation is approaching, so are many volunteering projects and internships. But what to pack on such a new exciting experience? Even if you have been abroad many times and are an expert in packing, there are sure to be moments when you miss a thing or two. To help you have the best preparation for your project, or any other vacation, we made a special AIESEC exchange packing list!

Inspired, empowered and ready for change: The story of four young leaders in the contemporary world

Inspired, empowered and ready for change: The story of four young leaders in the contemporary world

When we talk about young leaders, people quickly think of Greta Thunberg or Mark Zuckerberg, due to their media attention or Greta’s well-known, activist speeches on climate change. But more quietly, the world is packed with young, inspirational leaders, trying to create a more stable, sustainable and inclusive world for future generations, minority groups or the society they are part of.

Discovering culture in Morocco: An exchange to Marrakech

Discovering culture in Morocco: An exchange to Marrakech

When I decided to participate in the Nour project of AIESEC, I felt like I did something impulsive yet brave. I never went abroad on my own before. I always had people I could depend on like friends and family. This time I wanted to challenge myself by doing this project on my own, and I wanted to discover and embrace another culture.

3 Inspiring TED talks on inequality

3 Inspiring TED talks on inequality

We’ve pulled together some inspiring TED talks for you to watch about inequality. The speakers in these videos describe their view on inequality and what the world needs in order to change this. Let these people inspire you, to create new ways of thinking about inequality and the road to changing this.

4 Tips to make your CV stand out

4 Tips to make your CV stand out

On average, recruiters spend 5 to 7 seconds screening a CV before deciding whether to continue with the applicant or not. It equals the average time that we spend looking at an Instagram post on our feed. So, here are some tips that can help your CV stand out in a large pool of applicants.

Interested?

Take the first step.

Book a free consultation call in one of our cities to explore your opportunities!