3 skills you develop on a skilled volunteering placement
Sharing your skills is the best way to volunteer. Skilled volunteering leads to long term benefits that continue even after you have completed your placement. It also ensures that you are contributing to the organisational sustainability of your local partner, so they can continue to serve their communities in the future. Working with a vetted local initiative also makes sure your time and skills serve a true community need. Finally, skilled volunteering is the best way to experience cultural immersion and enjoy life as a local.
For most of our volunteers, sharing their skills with a local change maker in India is an incredibly rewarding experience. On top of supporting a local initiative and contributing to their best practices, volunteers also develop their own skill set.
Developing new skills is important at every stage in life. For students it is a great way to build their CV and stand out to potential employers. Young professionals greatly benefit from developing new skills as it can propel their careers forwards and contribute to personal and professional development. For seasoned professionals, learning and developing skills in India is a revitalising and invigorating experience. Finally, professionals on a sabbatical or career change can benefit from a skilled volunteer opportunity as it provides a foot in the door of a new sector.
But what skills exactly will you develop on your skilled volunteering placement?
You are an integral part of a local team during your skilled volunteer placement. By collaborating with local experts in your field, you are learning from them and are sharing your skills and knowledge in return.
Skilled volunteer placements focus on skill and learning exchange. As a result, your local partner organisation benefits from your expertise in the long term.
You gain valuable experience in cross-cultural working, as you often have to communicate across language and cultural barriers. The ways of thinking and best practices of the local organisation might be different from what you are used to back home. Finding common ground, negotiating and being able to understand the cultural and societal context of other people are skills that you develop. These skills will be incredibly useful in your future career, as they will contribute to your ability to be part of a team, as well as taking on the responsibilities of being a leader.
Creative and innovative thinking
Things are likely to be done completely different here in India, due to resource constraint as well as the different cultural context. As a result, you have to adjust your methods and way of thinking. On your skilled volunteering placement you learn to achieve maximum results with minimum inputs. Resourcefulness, creativity and innovation are part of your daily agenda. These abilities are highly valued by employers back home, and give you a competitive edge in the job market.
Insights into your profession
The difference in processes and best practice is also likely to force you to reflect on your own profession. Volunteers often have two contradictory revelations. On the one hand, they find that you can learn a whole lot from your professional counterparts in India. On the other hand, you are often strengthened in your approach to your field. Both are incredibly important learnings that you can take back home with you. The skilled volunteering experience will therefore influence your future practice and way of thinking.
Are you eager to develop your skills and gain insights that no other experience can provide you with? Let us know what skills you want to share, and what skills you want to learn. We’ll gladly help you to find the best skilled volunteering placement for you.