Modupe Ogundare: Find Out 6 Ways Volunteering Can Save Your Life

How volunteering can save your life? I’m sure you’re wondering if I mean that literally, YES! I do. But before I go on, let’s get down to the basics.

What is Volunteering? Volunteering is voluntarily undertaking a service; it is basically rendering a service or taking part in a project with no intention of receiving any financial compensation.

Volunteering can be very gratifying and has proven to be a great way of meeting and working with folks you wouldn’t have thought possible. If volunteering is indeed beneficial, why then do folks get wary when you suggest the idea – EXPLOITATION. In this part of the world the term “Volunteering” has been conveniently taken for an “Invitation to Exploit” countlessly. And that gives why people would stay away from something so instrumental.

It would however be important to note that in as much as volunteering is becoming quite the hoax lately, not even the exploitative tendencies some persons have attached to it seem capable of stripping it of its many benefits.

If you’ve been volunteering recurrently, I know when asked, you would love to say it is your desire to reach out to your community as well as give back to the society that’s driven you to volunteering, and noble as that rationale maybe, it is but one of the many benefits of volunteering.

I also know that many feel unenthusiastic about volunteering due to the fact that it’s been abused. However, if you’re a young person, most especially if you’re unemployed or underemployed, volunteering might just be the life-changing life-saving course you really need to take.

I have listed out six (6) significant reasons why volunteering should be top on your list this year. Check them out below:

It Increases your Chances of Meeting People and Networking
Volunteering is a great way of meeting and networking with people in your turf. It opens you to a hub of professionals across what you love to do, it creates a platform where you can relate with and glean from these individuals on a level you may not ordinarily be allowed to. Now, I bet you know that your Network is your Net worth… And I’d like to believe you know what to do with those contacts.

It is a Great Pedestal for Growth
Becoming a volunteer opens you to a whole lot of experience such that when you get on your actual job, you would have developed better skills that should naturally propel you into better performances. And the striking part is, because you are volunteering, you might not be as pressured as you would be on an actual job and at such you have the room to learn from your shortcomings, and grow from your mistakes. As a prospective employee who’s been volunteering in your desired field, you might just surprise your employer with the ease at which you get on with your actual job when it comes due to your past volunteering gigs; and believe me, that’s an approved shocker.

It Improves your Personal Development
The basic reality is that skills are garnered when volunteering. It’s more like you have an untapped expanse of land to yourself. You are faced with lots of activities and right in the midst of your volunteering engagements, you begin to experience personal development. And because you are trained to do more tasks than you were originally capable of, you become better skilled. Individually, you need to feel good about yourself. Knowing that you’ve amassed more knowledge boosts your self-esteem and gives you the required confidence to go at your job.

It Improves Your Interpersonal Relations Skills
Volunteering affords you the opportunity to meet, connect and work with others. It helps you sharpen your communication skills and become a better team player. You also have better chances of experiencing leadership/management on a different scale and thereby up your game. Nobody likes to work with a totally naïve or inexperienced person. Bringing in the knowledge of relating with others garnered from volunteering experience to your work place establishes you as an intellectually capable worker.

It Passes You Off As Hardworking and Committed
Your level of commitment to a cause you feel strongly and passionate about reflects magnanimously in the devotion of your time and energy towards that very cause. While your resume may not be filled with previous employment records (especially if you’re a fresh graduate), your volunteer record makes up for a whole lot as prospective employers approve of people who have these kinds of activities on their resume. It is believe to depict their persona and disposition.

It Helps You Carve a Career Niche
When volunteering, you are presented with an assortment of challenges and opportunities to grow. Every new experience is an opening to discover more about you while acquiring important insights and understanding. Also, while volunteering, you can be easily let off for not knowing, giving you the perfect environment to learn and relearn. If you’ve been having a hard time defining a career path, you are presented with a grand opportunity to discover yourself in those moments of volunteering and restructure your preferences so you don’t run around in circles.

I believe you now have reasons to volunteer this year because you’ve got nothing to lose and everything to gain if you learn to look out for the good heads. Cheers to your success!!!

Do let me know if you’ll be volunteering anytime soon. And if you’re already a pro volunteer, I would like to hear your volunteering tales (EVERYTHING! The good, The bad, and The ugly).

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Editor’s note:
If you would like to volunteer help the work being done at the Mirabel Rape Crisis centre, please send us an email at features(at)bellanaija(dot)com – with the Subject “Volunteering at Mirabel”

You can also volunteer at the Slum2School Project HERE
To volunteer with the Down Syndrome Association of Nigeria, click here for more information.

9 Comments on Modupe Ogundare: Find Out 6 Ways Volunteering Can Save Your Life
  • whocares January 27, 2016 at 2:23 pm

    agreed, agreed, agreed. It still surprises me when people do not do much voluntary work. It is the first thing you learn as a student wanting to build your cv. It starts out as a self serving means to build the cv but as you grow older you genuinely enjoy it. On Sundays I volunteer at an immigration centre. Its fun. I cook sometimes or sometimes I teach English esol classes or just generally help out. We usually get food that is donated to us; one time we got efo (spinach). These people, now said, I should use efo, as in efo tete to make salad. I almost cried. I quickly turned up the gas and made them a bad ass efo riro Pity I did not have iru, and ede, they would have been licking their fingers. I just called it spicy spinach sauce or what did I call it gan sef and served it with rice. lool. Everyone loved it! I truly enjoy meeting the people as well and it puts things in perspective for you. It need not be something you commit to often, you could find one off events to volunteer in. Either ways, you cannot lose.

  • Nonso January 27, 2016 at 3:13 pm

    Hmmm… wen I saw this post, I just smiled. I am a living testimony that volunteering pays. I volunteered for 7 months (structured volunteering). Those 7 months changed my life. People never understood why I should volunteer when I can get a job. I knew what I wanted, and I was willing to pay the sacrifice. Today I am most grateful for the gift of volunteering and how it shaped my life.
    N.B: if you are interested in working in the development sector / NGO. Please look for a good volunteer opportunity to learn and grow from. You can make inquiries about VSO in Nigeria and other good organisations as listed above.

  • @edDREAMZ January 27, 2016 at 4:13 pm

    a.k.a EDWIN CHINEDU AZUBUKO said…
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    Interesting….
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    ***CURRENTLY IN JUPITER***

  • Kay January 27, 2016 at 5:01 pm

    It’s a pity Nigerian youths underestimate the benefits of volunteering. Especially the ones that are unemployed and just sit at home doing nothing. If you have a factory, company, or any business around you why can’t you just volunteer than stay idle. And once you volunteer when it’s time for recruitment, you’d even have an edge. And while you’re still applying at other places, you’d be building your CV by volunteering, you’d also get the chance to network, etc

  • Familiar January 27, 2016 at 7:08 pm

    Honestly I think one of the best ways of geting your dream job is volunteering for that company/organisation even when others are putting in their application. Be determined to make your mark while there and they’ll never let you go. Now that’s smartness!

  • Tosin January 27, 2016 at 9:09 pm

    True.

  • motunrayo January 27, 2016 at 9:56 pm

    Anut Bella I try send message to that features @bellanaija.com for a volunteer @ Mirabel but not going. Any other alternative mail pls?

  • Nikky January 28, 2016 at 12:54 am

    Absolutely lovely piece! Very informative…so I know to do more volunteer work in 2016. Thank you so much for writing & sharing this piece.

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