There are a number of takeaways that community service volunteers can gain from lending their skills, time, and resources to help those in need. HavServe volunteers are just a handful of the 1.6 million people who volunteer internationally every year, and without a doubt one of the greatest pleasures we receive for our commitment to bettering rural locales in Haiti is a magnified sense of purpose.
But beyond heightened feelings of self-satisfaction, HavServe volunteers form a network of talented individuals from varying walks of life: from teenagers to seasoned professionals, from South America to Washington D.C., from teachers and writers to development experts and communications gurus. Members of the HavServe team benefit from our greatest asset: each other—through exchanges of ideas, information, and skills all tied to the goal of making positive contributions to the world.
Volunteering with a network of pre-professionals and professionals around the world can help pave the path for future opportunities, no matter where those roads might lead. Here are five key points that we’d like to offer prospective and current international volunteers for parlaying their volunteering experiences into successful networking opportunities:
5 keys to successful networking as a volunteer:
- Everyone can teach you something valuable, so keep your mind open and be prepared to listen.
- Create meaningful connections. Learn from the leaders of your organization through the ways they motivate fellow volunteers, and see if you can apply the lessons learned in your professional life.
- Take note of your desire to work with team members rallying around a common mission—these may be the types of individuals you to surround yourself within your own organizations.
- Ask questions! One of the best ways you can forge better relationships with co-volunteers is by inquiring how they meet their own goals and deadlines.
- Get to know your fellow volunteers on a more intimate level by offering tips, knowledge, information and personal anecdotes.
If you’re already a volunteer, we hope these five tidbits come in handy—and if you’re not yet part of a volunteer organization, keep in mind that the relationships you forge with like-minded individuals through volunteering can have a lasting impact on your professional life.
If you HAVE, you too can SERVE
Blogger: Andrew Blake – blogger, editor, writer