You’ll get big benefits doing volunteer work when you are jobless. Firstly it builds your pride and self-respect. Nobody will respect you if you can’t learn to respect yourself, and you will be ashamed of being frugal.
Employers are always worried that unemployed people might prefer not to work. If they can see that you prefer to do unpaid work to not working at all – that gets rid of that suspicion.
Your Freelance Employability
OK, I know that you have at least normal intelligence because you can read this and you know how to use the Internet. You also understand English. Do you realize that I have just listed three items that affect your employability? Perhaps you even know how to put up a blog, and write articles for it too?
Or perhaps you have some basic training, such as touch typing, photography, bookkeeping, handyman. Could your hobbies be useful?
Training And Experience
But employers of freelance workers want you to have experience and referrals. That’s where volunteering comes into its own. You get experience and self confidence. You won’t get a wage, but you’ll build your pride and self-respect and gain valuable experience for your profile. You’ll also get a good referral if you do excellent work.
Many places will train their volunteers.
If you are fit enough to do manual labor, you can join WOOF (Willing Workers On Organic Farms) and get your meals and accommodation free. The farmer will show you exactly how to do each job. Be ready to help the farmer however you can – perhaps just by searching Google for him. It’s not farming, but it will appear in your recommendation.
Or you could do handyman work beside an experienced volunteer who would teach you how to do each job.
Perhaps an organization might need somebody to be in a team doing the donkey-work of converting articles into web pages. HTML programming, at the donkey-work level, is simple enough to learn in a couple of hours. Then you would do the work under supervision, asking for help whenever you needed it.
You might end up able to create websites.
Your attitude is important. You must be prepared to go beyond the call of duty. You must be a very teachable learner. You must be prepared to accept criticism, even if the expert is not very polite about your blunders. Everyone makes mistakes, and you’ll learn faster if the criticism annoys you.
Of course, don’t just take the first volunteer job that appears. Spend many hours with Google tracking down community service ideas that will give you training and the right experience.
It sometimes seems that there are too many teen volunteer opportunities if you are looking for work for retired persons, but just keep looking.
Try Googling ‘places to volunteer near me’ or perhaps ‘volunteer opportunities near me.’ It’s an enormous topic, and you could have fun for days looking at all the strange opportunities out there.
Learn Frugal Living
The best long-term volunteer jobs require you to have more experience. You might have just graduated as an English teacher from a University, but if you can’t show that you can help language students, you won’t get the job.
Let’s imagine that you qualify (not necessarily as a teacher) to chat in English with students who are trying to learn the complexities of the English language.
Here’s a typical volunteer offer. They will pay for your trip to Africa (or one of the other developing countries ) and back and give you a year of food and accommodation in an African home. They will also give you some pocket money. You would chat in English with the students.
Here’s how you would benefit.
- You would learn first hand how to live a cheap, frugal life because that’s the only way that the natives around you live. Frugality is a valuable attitude.
- In Paraguay, I have watched a simple house like these built in a day from local materials by the neighbors. How much cheaper would that be than your house?
- You will learn to recognize plants that the natives eat, and how to prepare the plants to eat. It’s dangerous to rely on prepared food from US supermarkets – they may not always be there.
- You will learn that different cultures have different attitudes. Has your host just insulted you? It’s not an insult in her culture.
- Your conversations with the students will give you a valuable increase in your self-respect.
- You don’t need money, so in your free time, you can be doing freelancing online for ridiculously low fees to get known as a reliable freelancer. Your fees will increase as you become known, but you don’t need them at first, because of your volunteer job.
The main benefits of volunteering are learning, experience for your freelance profile, and self-confidence but it’s wonderful to learn another culture too.