There is no doubt that volunteering is invaluable to our society. Nonprofits have a finite period before we’ll need to pass the torch of giving back to tomorrow’s leaders—our Youths.
Career exploration or decision for young people comes in various forms, such as career assessments, job shadowing, and internships.
Volunteering is generally considered an altruistic activity where an individual or group freely gives time “to benefit another person, group or organization”. Volunteering is also renowned for skill development and is often intended to promote goodness or to improve human quality of life. Volunteering may have positive benefits for the volunteer as well as for the person or community served. It is also intended to make contacts for possible employment. Many volunteers are specifically trained in the areas they work, such as medicine, education, or emergency rescue. Others serve on an as-needed basis, such as in response to a natural disaster.
Developing the agricultural landscape in Africa needs specialized skills in various areas such as Project management, Commercial Crop Production, Seed Technology, Agricultural Equipment Maintenance Engineers, Plant, and Animal Breeders, Lab Technologist and so many other expert fields.
The gap between skilled and unskilled labor in the agricultural field, especially in Africa, calls prompt response among organizations that has their vision built around achieving the Sustainable Development Goals.
How about volunteering for career exploration?
There are benefits for youth who take the initiative to use volunteering as a method for career exploration. Just like internships, volunteering will allow youth to build skills, gain experience, and gain support.
It also helps them to develop the inner motivation needed in our modern-day work environment and other opportunities for mentoring in specific areas of interest.
Youths can start by thinking of the various careers they might be interested in and thinking of ways they can volunteer related to the different career fields. A good place to start if someone is unsure of their career interests is to take a career assessment.
A close mentor can always provide the needed guidance to help young people answer questionnaire guides when deciding which career path to choose.
Career assessments are guides that give young people direction by taking evaluation or questionnaires on their interests and skills. Career assessments can be a good place to start for not only a potential career field but also taking a step toward a career field through volunteering.
Once various career interests are discovered, young people can locate different organizations or businesses in their communities that may cater to their career interests. For the different business and service organizations in the community, young people should take the initiative to contact them and find out if there are opportunities to volunteer.
In general, some service organizations and businesses have an application and orientation process that prospective volunteers must go through to become a volunteer. This type of process is good practice for young people and exposes them to the process of applying for employment.
Other organization should also open their doors to young people who apply for such opportunities in their company as a way of investing back into their community.
- UNV Online Voluntering – Opprtunities found here range from IT, proof reading and content development to graphics
- UNV –
- VSO International – Find International and local opportunities here
- VolunteerMatch – Volunteers are matched to opportunities based on their interests, location and job type
- Idealist – International and local volunteer opportunities
- National and Community Service – this is a Federal organization offering volunteer positions across the United States
- Volunteer – this is a directory of climate and environment volunteer opportunities
- U.S. Peace Corps – this U.S organization offers volunteer opportunities overseas and includes a 50 Plus division.
- American Red Cross – Volunteer in any of the Red Cross’s key service areas.
- Volunteer Scotland – Opportunities within Scotland
Any young person pursuing any career after University or High School should consider taking the steps of volunteering and experiencing the benefits of volunteering as a method for career exploration.
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