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How to Improve Your Skills and Knowledge While Volunteering

Article by GVI


Posted: March 9, 2023

Volunteering is a great way to contribute to nature conservation and community development, but it also offers many personal benefits. Every person has unique skills and knowledge that can be sharpened and increased by volunteering. If you’re looking to grow professionally and personally, joining a volunteer program is a practical, and meaningful, way to do so.

Benefits of Volunteering

Ethical volunteering is a meaningful way to make a lasting difference. It’s an opportunity to contribute to sustainable initiatives that have a positive impact on vulnerable communities and on the protection of endangered species and habitats.

Because volunteering gives you a new perspective on life, you’ll get a sense of purpose and fulfilment. Volunteering is also a smart way to acquire job skills and gain a better understanding of different careers and industries. You get the opportunity to participate in projects or activities similar to those you’d encounter in a paid position. You also have the chance to develop knowledge in a subject area you may be passionate about and get access to training sessions that could benefit your career.

Volunteering provides great networking opportunities and helps expand relationships with like-minded people. It can be an effective way to build professional associations, both inside and outside the workplace. It also may result in new or enhanced opportunities at school, university, work, or in your personal life.

Identifying Your Areas of Interest

Before diving into volunteer opportunities, identify what fields of interest you have, what you are passionate about, as well as any areas that you would like to gain valuable experience in. Selecting volunteer programs that align with your professional, academic, or personal objectives can help increase your skills and knowledge while gaining great volunteer experiences.

Take some time to reflect on what you are looking to gain from volunteering. Consider what skills you already have and what skills you would like to develop. Think about what causes you are passionate about and what type of environment you would like to work in. Once you have identified your areas of interest, you can begin to search for volunteer opportunities that match your criteria.

Researching Volunteer Opportunities

Once you have identified areas of interest, research flexible opportunities that are tailored to your availability and resources. Many volunteer positions require little to no previous experience and some may offer special training and certifications. Research local organisations or popular websites and start doing your homework about potential volunteer opportunities. Establish connections by directly reaching out to the organisation.

When researching volunteer opportunities, it is important to consider the time commitment and the type of work you are willing to do. Some volunteer positions may require a long-term commitment, while others may be more flexible. Additionally, some volunteer positions may require physical labour, while others may be more administrative in nature. Consider your skills and interests when researching volunteer opportunities to ensure that you find the best fit.

Another important factor to consider before you join a program, is the credibility of the volunteer company. An organisation like GVI has been around for more than two decades and has established itself as the leader in purpose-driven expeditions. They have unwavering ethical principles and have received top reviews online.

Once you’ve selected your volunteer program, spend some time to get a better understanding of the organisation’s mission and goals, and ask questions about how the organisation works, and how you can best contribute your specific skill-set.

Gaining New Skills and Knowledge

Volunteering offers a great chance to stretch and push your boundaries. Many volunteer programs offer in-person and online courses and tutorials to gain new skills and knowledge before and during your program. Don’t be afraid to ask questions and take notes during these sessions, as this will help you to remember the information.

Seeking Out Mentorship Opportunities

A great way to learn from experienced professionals is through mentorship. GVI has mentors who can guide, advise, and offer advice in your area of interest and career. Through mentorship, you can gain invaluable knowledge about navigating professional settings and developing social relationships through networking.

Developing Professional Networks Through Volunteering

Volunteering also offers an ideal opportunity to build relationships with professionals in different industries, like community development or nature conservation. After your volunteer program, you can attend events where people from diverse backgrounds come together to network or join online forums that promote members’ professional growth via job postings, discussions, or other activities that help increase industry knowledge. It is also important to keep up relationships with current supervisors or mentors.

Joining an Ethical Volunteering Program

Volunteering is a wonderful way for individuals to gain professional skills and knowledge while making a difference. Identifying areas of interest will ensure that you are able to find volunteer opportunities that offer valuable experiences and help improve your skills. Take a look a the range of nature conservation and community development volunteer programs that GVI has to offer. While you’ll have the adventure of a lifetime, you can rest assured that you are contributing to ethical initiatives that are inclusive and will have a sustainable impact.

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