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Nicola Sznajder

SFU Student

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Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone or pass up certain opportunities to learn something new.

Getting involved with an organization or event can be daunting at first, but after a couple of experiences, you might be ready for something bigger. Whether you are looking to integrate yourself into a community, network, start your career, or just looking for a challenge, volunteer work is a great way to fill all those needs while gaining skills and experience. Taking on a more challenging volunteer role will involve a higher skillset, more responsibilities, and even having a title that people report to.

What is the Challenge?

When I say a challenging volunteer position, I am referring to a position that is related to administration, mentoring, marketing, tutoring, and communication roles. These are the types of roles that will require you to put more time into it versus a volunteer position that lasts a couple hours or a day. This will display your ability to commit to a position to both current and future employers and coworkers.

Put in the Time

The time commitment required ranges from a long term slower-paced position to a short-term intensive position. These can be larger scale event such as festivals, marathons, holiday celebrations, or the maintenance of current art or service organizations. Make sure that you are able to put time aside to answer emails throughout the week and to jump in when needed.

Be Confident in Your Skill Set

When choosing a volunteering position, work towards your strengths or to develop skills that are necessary for your future career. Don’t be afraid to go outside of your comfort zone or pass up certain opportunities to learn something new. Volunteer groups are very helpful and friendly when it comes to assisting one of their own.

Be Passionate

Pick a cause or an event that holds your interest or better yet, excites you! If you are going to commit and be integrated into the brains of the operation then at the very least it better make you smile; otherwise, you might feel trapped or overwhelmed in such a position.

It is difficult to commit yourself to a challenging position but it is a great opportunity to improve and learn new skills. Above all, remember to network and build upon new connections which will open you up to more opportunities in the near future. 

About the Author

Nicola Sznajder

SFU Student

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