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How to Make the Most of My Volunteer Experience?

Article by GVI


Posted: March 14, 2023

Volunteering can be a rewarding experience for those wanting to make a difference in their community and gain valuable skills. While there are many benefits to volunteering, such as making a lasting difference and feeling fulfilled, it’s important to take the right steps to ensure it’s a positive experience. This article will provide tips to help make the most of your volunteer experience.

The Benefits of Volunteering

Volunteering is a great way to contribute to the planet and its people and build interpersonal relationships. It’s also a great way to gain experience, learn new skills, and develop leadership skills. Volunteering can help you grow as a person, expand your horizons, and feel more connected to your purpose in the world. It can also provide valuable ideas and resources that can help make future endeavours more successful.

In addition to the personal benefits of volunteering, it can also be a great way to make a positive impact on the world. By volunteering, you can empower local organisations, support important initiatives, and make a lasting difference. Volunteering can also be a great way to meet new people and make new friends. It can be a great way to build relationships and create a sense of belonging in your community.

Choosing the Right Opportunity

One of the most important steps in making the most of your volunteer experience is to choose the right volunteer opportunity. It’s important to research the available opportunities before making a decision by looking at job descriptions and talking to other volunteers. It’s also important to make sure the volunteering opportunity aligns with your passion and interests to ensure it’s something you will actually enjoy.

When researching volunteer opportunities, it’s important to consider the time commitment and the location of the organisation. You should also consider the type of work you will be doing and the impact it will have on the community. Additionally, it’s important to make sure the organisation is reputable and has a good track record of success.

A company like GVI has been around for more than two decades, with a track record of positive reviews and international awards. They run programs from their permanent hubs in a great variety of locations all around the world. Depending on your passions and interests, you can join adventurous nature conservation programs, or immersive community development programs.

Preparing for Your Volunteer Experience

Once you choose the right volunteer opportunity, the next step is to prepare for your volunteer experience. This includes determining the necessary tasks and activities required to help further the mission of your chosen organisation, familiarising yourself with the policies and procedures, knowing what skills and resources may be needed for your position, and understanding the expectations of the organisation. But don’t worry – professional volunteer companies like GVI will make sure you get all the necessary training you need before you depart.

It is also important to consider the time commitment you are able to make to the organisation. Make sure you are able to commit to the hours and days that are required for the program, as they can vary from two weeks to six months! Additionally, it is important to be aware of any safety protocols that may be in place and to be prepared to follow them.

Understanding Your Role

It’s important to understand your role as a volunteer and what responsibilities you will have while volunteering. This includes understanding the mission of the project you’ll be involved with and how your efforts will contribute to the success of the initiative.

It is also important to understand the expectations of the organisation and the commitment you are making when you volunteer. This includes the amount of time you are expected to dedicate to the organization, the tasks you will be responsible for, and the level of communication you will need to maintain with the organisation. Additionally, it is important to understand the policies and procedures of the organisation and how they will affect your role as a volunteer.

Establish Goals

Establish goals for yourself during your volunteer experience. This will help keep you motivated and on track to achieve what you hope to accomplish while volunteering. Some possible goals could include increasing your knowledge, developing new skills, making meaningful connections, or helping those in need.

When setting goals for your volunteer experience, it is important to be realistic and achievable. Consider the amount of time you have available to volunteer and the resources you have access to. Additionally, make sure to set goals that are meaningful to you and that you are passionate about. This will help ensure that you stay motivated and engaged throughout your volunteer experience.

Reflect and Evaluate

Another way to make the most of your volunteer experience is to reflect on and evaluate your activities regularly. Doing so will help you identify any areas for improvement and ensure that you are meeting your personal goals. This reflection can also provide insights into how you can better support your organisation with your volunteer role.

Boosting Your Career

It’s valuable to consider how volunteering can help further your career development. Volunteering is a great way to build up your resume and gain valuable skills and experiences that employers look for in potential job candidates. You can also use your volunteer experience to showcase personal qualities such as commitment, drive, and a willingness to learn new things.

Tips for Making the Most of Your Time Volunteering

Here are some tips for making the most of your volunteer experience:

  • Build strong relationships with your supervisor and fellow volunteers.
  • Don’t be afraid to ask any questions.
  • Be aware of your physical and mental energy levels – take breaks when needed.
  • Be proactive in identifying tasks that need to be done.
  • Keep learning! Take opportunities to try different roles within the project.

Recognising Your Contribution

Finally, don’t forget to recognise your contribution as a volunteer. Celebrating successes helps remind you of why you decided to volunteer in the first place and keeps you motivated. Whether it’s writing down accomplishments in a journal or having a designated time for reflection, recognising your journey should be part of any successful volunteer experience.

Making the most of your volunteer experience requires taking thoughtful steps before, during, and after volunteering. From doing research to choosing the right opportunity, setting goals, and reflecting on successes, there are many ways to ensure a positive volunteer experience that serves both you and the organisation you serve.

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