Now I understand that most of us are incredibly busy with school, work relationships and trying to balance all of these aspects of our daily lives, but let’s take a step back. There is extra time in our lives, and we should make the most of it. Right now people are focused on finding a job and networking. A great way to boost both of these areas is through volunteering. Not only will it help build your resume, but it’ll open up a world of opportunities. Many of my friends, and myself, do it to not only boost our confidence but to help do something we genuinely care about.
My friend Poly Hughes has both her Education degree and Masters of Education, but that doesn’t mean finding a teaching position will be easy. Unfortunately, there are too many new education graduates in Ontario and not enough positions or people retiring for these hopefuls to start their careers. Poly adores kids, and even though she knows about the tough road ahead, she’s still extremely driven to be as involved in the classroom as possible. She just recently finished her Masters, and will now be spending a majority of her time volunteering in classrooms. Thats how she can get the experience, and the perfect way to get her name out there.
Volunteering can go beyond your work-oriented skills when you are helping with a program or charity you are passionate about. My other friend Karina Kornacka is a career-driven, hard-working girl who is always striving for (and achieving) success in her endeavors. She may be a busy lady, but she is never too hard-pressed to dedicate her time to cancer research whether it’s a relay, a marathon or a 200+km bike ride, she will always show her support. This is who she is and it has become a part of her personal brand.
I’ve spent time myself doing volunteering, the most fulfilling of these experiences was the one I did internationally. The program is called Cross Cultural Solutions and you can check out their website here. I’ll say first and formost that this kind of program will cost you, but I saw where every cent of my money went and I know that I was investing in a company that did great things. Volunteering abroad is an amazing way to open up your mind to life outside of your comfort zone. I worked in a village outside of Peru for a week. I have no doubt in my mind that I will do another program with CCS.
I must reiterate the fact that I am guilty of complaining about being busy and about how hard life is. This is just as much for me as it is everyone else. I’ll continue to do my best to give back to the community, because the benefits of volunteering are endless. Even if it’s just a couple hours a month, we’ll be doing ourselves a whole lot of good.