Volunteering Versus Paid Work
In today’s world, paid work is an obvious necessity - we all need money to survive. For many of us, however, we can find ourselves removed from the outcome of our labour - sometimes for no other reason than for being one of many in an organisation whose outcome seems inevitable or perhaps that the outcome is so far removed from our own contribution that it means very little.
Gifting your spare time for something you care about - where you are invested in the outcome of your work, can be incredibly satisfying; especially in a world where we are often removed from the achievements that our contribution produces. Engaging in meaningful volunteering opportunities that interest you - where you’re invested in the outcome - can provide the kind of satisfaction that can elude us in our paid work.
In addition, volunteering plays into the old adage of being the change you want to see in the world. Whereas our motivations for paid work tend to revolve around income generation, volunteering is intrinsically about choice - you aren’t bound by the financial imperatives that may constrain your paid work options. Choosing how you want to contribute to your community should be empowering and satisfying in equal measure.
Volunteering, much like an internship, can be instrumental in developing your skills and knowledge to increase your competitiveness in the job market. Beyond this development, you also open yourself up to new networks and, by extension, opportunities that will bolster your profile.
Paid work and volunteering are not at odds with one another. The truth is they can work quite complimentarily together. Especially when the volunteering options you pursue are in line with your career trajectory and provide you with real world outcomes for the contributions you make.
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