Volunteering overseas doesn’t only have a positive impact on the community you are volunteering in… it’s also a fantastic way to boost your CV! We’ve come up with the four most important skills you can gain by taking part in a volunteering placement abroad, and how they can help you along in your career path.
Planning and organisation skills
Making all the plans to volunteer overseas can be quite a long process as it requires a lot of research. You need to choose which country you want to travel to, what sort of volunteering placement you’re most interested in and how long you’d like to be overseas for. Once you’ve done all that, you need to sort out flights, visas, insurance, inoculations (if needed!), obtain a DBS certificate and begin fundraising. Although Lattitude is always on hand to help and guide you with all of these things, it is ultimately your responsibility! Being able to plan your own experience shows commitment, independence and great organisational skills – things that potential employers are always looking out for!
Getting out of your comfort zone
Although there are many fantastic volunteering opportunities in your own communities (and we highly recommend giving your time to some local projects too!), volunteering internationally really helps you to get out of your comfort zone. Being in a completely new environment helps you to push your boundaries and become a lot more confident in situations you’re not used to. In job interviews it’s important to have examples of times where you’ve been challenged and have had to work hard to persevere and solve the problem.
It’s really important to show potential employers that you have experience working and communicating with people from different cultures and backgrounds. Spending time living and volunteering overseas is a fantastic example of this. Being able to adapt to a completely new environment and to really become immersed in a community really increases your knowledge of other cultures.
Whether you are instructing an activity with a group of children, or planning the next weekend away for yourself and the rest of the volunteers, there will be plenty of opportunities for you to develop your leadership skills while you are on placement. Having the ability to make important decisions with confidence is such an important attribute, and an interesting story from your times volunteering overseas behind where you learnt those skills is a bonus!
There are so many other skills and things you’ll learn about yourself when you’re volunteering overseas that you’ll be able to look back on for years to come. A lot of people say that they go abroad to “find themselves” – which although a bit cheesy, is definitely true! We find that once you are back home, you will have a better idea of what you’re most passionate about and the sort of area you can see yourself working in. So… what are you waiting for? Apply now for one of Lattitude’s programmes beginning in 2019!