I remember 10 years ago when one of my classmates in college encouraged me to be part of the student government in which I refused because I don’t like to associate with people. I’m an introvert and I had other important things to do and I want nothing to add up into it.
For so many years, I once believed a lie in which my grade 3 teacher told me: “You will achieve nothing in life.”, then she picked out her stainless ruler, hit it into my hands until it turns red because I refuse to give my 10 pesos allowance to her in exchange of a snack she prepared for the class.
I can still remember how many times my classmates voted me to become a leader or be a group leader but I refused it because I have been framing my mind the belief of I was not good enough.
But God has a different plan. It started when I signed up to become a volunteer in the church I am attending. Little by little it stretches me to become a leader and learned how to work with other volunteers.
After becoming a volunteer in the church, I led a small group of young single professionals who were older than me. I was leading a group of men was around 25 to 35 years old when I was 22 years old! I also volunteered twice in mission trips abroad and some outreach projects in which stretched my faith, character and leadership ability. Followed by managing a group of volunteers in one of our company corporate initiatives.
All I can say is that my life has changed because of volunteering. And let me give you some reasons why it can be also beneficial to you.
1. Volunteering allows you to figure out who you are.
I believe each person has their own imprint of what they will become. Some people I know have already discovered their own by the time they reached 13. Some took longer just like me.
I volunteered as a computer operator in church but later on, I realized that I was not only created to operate a computer, hence I tried volunteering in communications group since I love writing, but the demand for the ministry was too low and they never contacted me. Haha!
Until I signed up to be a teacher in the Kids Ministry. At first, I was hesitant since I’m an introvert! I was afraid if one day they will call me to stand in the front! Well, it happened. I was shaking at that moment when they assigned me to become a host! I hated public speaking.
But the more I volunteer to do hosting the more I became comfortable doing it. Then I switch to another role in which I want myself to learn more.
Later on, I figured out that I love teaching. It made me remember my childhood dream to become a teacher in which I didn’t pursue because being a teacher here in the Philippine is such a noble task but let’s face that it cannot give you a high paying job.
2. Volunteering builds your leadership.
Since volunteering requires you to work with people, it will help you to build your leadership skills. I mentioned earlier that I was an insecure person.
The longer I volunteer, the more J understand people and learn how to work with them.
In my job, I wasn’t allowed to practice or learn a skill in project management. And since I cannot do it in my job, I have to find a way to learn it. That’s when I took a project manager role to handle a big event in our company. It was a frightful one but it became successful. Now I learned the skill!
Working with people allows you to learn more about them. Soon you will be leading them and it is important that you know them personally.
Volunteering allows you to meet different people that can help you to achieve your dreams. This is where I learned that leaders are not born, they are made.
3. Volunteering allows you to practice.
Do you want to become a prolific writer? a radio host? what about a public speaker? Do it for free!
Volunteering is a great place to achieve your dreams. I’ve known personalities who took their time in volunteering.
It has been my dream to become a motivational speaker, so I joined Toastmasters International to learn public speaking. At first, I was afraid, but since Toastmasters is a safe environment to experiment and practice my communication skills, I gave it a shot!
Each club meeting I deliver my speech projects and volunteered on certain roles. Until I realized, I can now manage my fear of speaking in public!
Malcolm Gladwell in his book “The Tipping Point”, he mentioned that it requires 10,000 hours for a person to master a skill. That’s a lot of time! And volunteering is one of the best ways to practice and hone your skills.
Today, I’m a public speaker, a teacher, a writer, and a published author and a volunteer!. And how I could that? All was started by becoming a volunteer.
I still have so much to learn as of this moment, hence I will continue to volunteer.
Becoming a volunteer is a win-win. You learn and can master a skill and, you help other people. And volunteering allows you to put all your heart into everything you do.
Are you a volunteer already?