Volunteering your way forward!!!

An idle mind they say is the devil’s workshop. As a jobseeker, the longer you stay at home idle, the less likelier you are to get a job. I’ve seen a lot of idle and unemployable graduates, idleness kills and damages one’s self esteem. I agree that there are not many jobs, but there’s always work to be done every time.

What is Volunteering?

Volunteering is any activity that involves spending time, unpaid, doing something that aims to benefit the environment or someone (individuals or groups) other than or in addition to close relatives. Volunteering has to be a choice freely made by each individual. This can include formal activity undertaken through public, private and voluntary organizations as well as informal community participation. Some people start volunteering because they are passionate about a cause.

Someone somewhere needs to accomplish a particular task and they will appreciate whatever kind of help they can get. A busy executive somewhere needs someone to prepare his power point slide, A busy CEO needs someone to organize his very busy schedule, a Human Resource executive needs someone to help him post vacancies on the job board and craft job description. A company somewhere needs a social media presence. Why don’t you volunteer to be that person. Jobs are created as a result of specific needs that arise within organizations. Why not go pioneer the social media department in that organization for free. Why not go and start a research work for free in that learning and development organization.

Volunteering is very vital to the development of a jobseeker.

Source: Corporation for National and Community Service website

 

In a recent survey carried out for job-seekers by my organization, Career Solutions Africa,  job seekers highlighted that one of the major reasons they are unable to secure employment is the fact that employers tell them that they lack the needed experience. I was wondering really why a lot of young people in this part of the world are not interested in volunteering. While discussing this with some of my colleagues I was made to understand that some people don’t volunteer because they are graduates or because of the huge school fees they paid and how they can’t work for free after paying such a huge amount as school fees. It’s so unfortunate that the days when you get employed simply because you are a graduate have passed. In this current age, you’re employed because you’re perceived to be able to solve problems and your university degree doesn’t guarantee that. You get employed by demonstrating your capacity to solve problems and one of the ways you can develop your capacity to solve problems is by volunteering.

Someone might be asking what if I’m turned down? Does that stop you from going somewhere else to volunteer your skills? Volunteering your free time to work for free automatically sends a message to a lot of career professionals that you’re the serious type and that you’re focused, so they tend to want to give you an opportunity to prove yourself. Moreover if you’re turned down somewhere, why not go else where? Volunteering may not automatically get you a job within an organization but its rewards are endless.

 

Source: Corporation for National and Community Service website

 

There are several reasons why volunteering can ultimately result in a paying job and one of the reason is that

You learn New Skills.

Volunteering can be a positive way to get training in areas your current or past jobs did not provide. If you need some additional experience for a particular job or promotion, there are many options. For example:

Project Management – organizing events or fundraising efforts.

Writing Skills – writing reports for events, meetings and conferences

Social Media Skills – carrying out a social media campaign or coverage for events

Sales Skills – contacting people for donations or recruiting volunteers.

Managing a Team – many projects require a group effort, and a leader to coordinate it,

Using your time to gain new Skills and help your Community, either while looking for employment or while working, it highlights your willingness to jump in, learn new things and do more.

 

 

By Ademulegun Olowojoba

Ademulegun Olowojoba is an Employment Solutions Strategist and a Social Entrepreneur who is highly passionate about the repositioning and social well being of African Youths.

He has served on the board of several youth development organizations. He has also facilitated and hosted several youth development and educational programs on not less than seven radio stations across South-West Nigeria.

He has facilitated programs on employment on several media platforms including Top Radio, Lagos, Africa’s Largest TV Network, NTA to mention a few.

He has trained hundreds Nigerian youths on Employability and Entrepreneurship.

Prior to his relocation to Lagos in March 2014, he was the host of ‘Champions Dose’ on Zuma 88.5 FM, Abuja, a weekly personal development radio program which was listened to across five states in North Central Nigeria including the capital city of Abuja.

He has received training from The Daystar Leadership Academy, ALISON, Young Africa Leaders Institute Network to mention a few.

He is currently a Consultant at Career Solutions Africa, an organization that is committed to meeting the career needs of people and organizations.

He is the founder of opportunitiesforyouths.com, an online resource center where young people access information about emerging opportunities. He also founded www.ivolunteernaija.com, a volunteering platform for Nigerian youths.

You can connect with him on:

Twitter: @adeolowojoba

Facebook: Ademulegun Olowojoba

LinkedIn: Ademulegun Olowojoba