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.

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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!

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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.

And last,

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.

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Are you a vol­un­teer already?




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I blog about my dis­cov­er­ies and learn­ings with per­son­al devel­op­ment, blog­ging, writ­ing, pub­lic speak­ing, and pub­lish­ing. I am a Jesus fol­low­er. Each month, I send out a newslet­ter with free tips on those top­ics.

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