Volunteering = endless opportunities
The volunteering life is more than just formal slogans or informal rumours: volunteering provides opportunities to live out dreams, acquire new skills and win new friends. A place to take your life to a new level, discover hidden talents and to understand whether what you are trying your hand at is actually a dream job.
In these times, you have to work to get a job, having a diploma is no longer enough. It takes time to get into the cultural, sport or any other sector. If you have volunteering experience, you no longer have to put your foot in doors closing in your face: volunteering offers the opportunity to open them, go in and prove yourself. I remember a long time ago, my friends saying: “you would be better off getting a real job”. Compared to those in ordinary walks of life, the careers of creative people are often like rollercoaster rides. One moment you are on a high of achievement, the next in a deep trough. Having enjoyed the taste of victory though, one works even harder to bring closer the moment when work looks for you, not you for work. People remember both their achievements and mistakes. But when you are thinking about your achievements, it doesn’t matter whether they were achieved while volunteering or for remuneration.
I takes many volunteers a lot of time, implementing their own projects, to understand how much valuable experience they have gained by learning through doing, both from good and not so good examples.
Some people believe that volunteers work at events just to get into them. In fact, there is much more: new friends, the ‘buzz’, opportunities to share experiences and for self-fulfilment. Knowing that certain cafes generously provide volunteers with a meal and a warm drink, I have begun to visit them regularly, because by paying for my coffee or pizza, I feel like I am contributing to the support system.
Volunteers are people who see the opportunities before them. The desire to find their place leads to them taking up new challenges. Allow them to express themselves and you will soon understand: in today’s world, volunteers are the future.
Jānis Vītols, Rīga 2014 Volunteer
PS Official sources describe voluntary work as an activity carried out by people of their own free will, choice and motivation, with no financial interest, informally or in an organised way. Volunteers aim to contribute to the good of another person or to that of the community as a whole, at the same time receiving significant personal benefit.