We have all been known to overthink about the future to the point of being debilitated by anxiety. Each step is carefully planned and mapped out, everything from choosing the best possible course, trying to ace all the classes, and attending professional seminars to brush up on important skills. But even after all these preparations, doubts remain. The what-ifs constantly haunt us. What if these skills are not good enough? What if this isn’t something you want to do for the rest of your life? These doubts and the lack of confidence are often your downfalls.
Why is it that even in the simplest things when trying something new, we first prefer a trial to confirm this is exactly what we wanted? But for something as serious as the future, we are expected to jump headfirst without any trials or demos. Sounds unfair, doesn’t it? What if we told you there exists a magic solution to quieten your doubts while simultaneously getting you future-ready?
It may be surprising for some, but that solution is a mere word- Volunteering. No, it is not a marketing stunt to promote volunteerism, or maybe it is a little bit, but volunteering is the golden ticket to a successful future.
Volunteering encompasses a lot more benefits than just providing you with opportunities to make a difference in the community. It can favorably impact your career. Even though work experience matters when mapping out the future, volunteering helps you acquire beneficial skills you otherwise won’t encounter, in addition to giving you a trial glimpse of your career choice.
The environment you work in while impacting communities is completely different from a strict office setting. There is a freedom to explore your strengths and weaknesses, no restrictions of working amidst priorly set streams, and the liberty of delving into who you are as a person. It is an accelerator for your future while fostering social, professional, and personal skills.
The most obvious benefit is the skills you acquire while working hands-on in a real setting. The training you get and the direct experience does not only look impressive on the resume but also gives you a chance to use your skills for a cause while refining the ones you already have. Public speaking, leadership skills, ability to work under pressure, being able to adapt to differing conditions, problem-solving, time management and so much more. You get the advantage of working in different settings of an organization without the restriction of your degree. You have the chance of trying your hand at something new, experiencing different challenges without the threat of how it will impact your professional career.
After all, having skills on paper as well as being conscientious is a win-win situation.
Working towards empowering communities through volunteerism provides you with ample opportunity to encounter new people. People from different walks of life with diverse backgrounds, be it culturally, socially, economically, or professionally. Interacting with these people, making new connections gives you an insight into differing perceptions, sometimes altogether altering your ideas. The additional benefit is, you sharpen your social skills, learn to actively listen, and master strengthening existing relationships while building new ones. There’s also no denying the power of a well-established, strong professional network. It’s the key element to ensuring success. Exchanging information, having guidance and support during challenging times, lets you stay at your best and opens doors for new opportunities.
Whether you have always wanted to try teaching or maybe test the waters at coding, you have full liberty of choosing volunteer opportunities regardless of what your actual profession is. If you are confused about whether your hobbies will make a good career choice, you can try out as many interests as possible. Sometimes we believe we are great at something only to find out it’s not what we want to do when in an actual professional setting. Think of volunteering as research to gather information about your strengths, to investigate exactly what you are looking for, to put your doubts and to sleep.
But you may be wondering what if later in the future your interests shift? After all, we are humans, our experiences shape our curiosities, we are constantly growing, adapting and it is entirely possible to become inquisitive about new things. But this inquisitiveness is often not worth the cost of losing your job lest the novelty of the new interest wears off. Well, the great thing about volunteering is that there is no age restriction. You are welcome to dive deeper into new experiences whenever you feel like it, as long as you are willing to donate your time.
We are all guilty of surrounding ourselves with people and things we are the most comfortable with while conveniently forgetting there exists a parallel world outside of our bubble. Even though we would love to float around forever in this comfort bubble, life is never smooth sailing. Sooner or later, something is bound to pop that bubble, so isn’t it better to come out and learn to deal with new things on your terms.
Stress can be a great motivator and stepping out of the comfort zone is bound to stress you out enough to amp up your attention and drive. Volunteering with different communities calls for plenty of possibilities where you have to take risks, adapt and when your brain becomes busy thinking, you learn to deal with situations critically. If you are always calm and doing the same old things, how will you test yourself, how do you know if you are strong enough? And personal development is the biggest gift anyone can give.
In the end, volunteerism is undoubtedly a future investment because it allows you an insight into how your life looks like now and what you can do to make it better. It allows reflecting on your choices as well as provides you with the tools to design a new path for yourself.
We have all been known to overthink about the future to the point of being debilitated by anxiety. Our every step is carefully planned and mapped out for the best possible future. But even after all these preparations, doubts remain. We doubt if our skills are good enough or if the path we chose is the right one. Volunteering gives you a trial glimpse of your career choice while simultaneously providing you with beneficial skills to get you future-ready. From determining your career goals to networking and pushing you out of your comfort zone while fostering your personal development, volunteerism is a one-stop solution for your doubts. It is undoubtedly a future investment because it allows you an insight into how your life looks like now and what can you do to make it better.