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When you get Home

Making the Most of Your Experiences

Posted: 14th September 2015 09:11

When you land home from your volunteering journey, you do not need to leave your experiences behind.  There are plenty of ways to keep the memory of your adventure alive and thus help your local community and enable other volunteers to make a difference.  If utilised effectively, a volunteering experience can open many doors when you return home if you are proactive. 

Write a Blog

If you dream of Hemingway, breathe Bryson and harbour hopes of being the next Hunter S.  Thompson, then putting together a travel blog is certainly the path for you.  Take your experiences, photos and anecdotes, and transform them into a well crafted yarn whilst they’re still fresh in your mind.  Your experiences will help other potential volunteers, not just entertain friends and family.  No two travel blogs are identical and you don’t necessarily need an overarching theme; just pull together everything you’ve learnt and let your experiences speak for themselves. 

Volunteer at Home

Absolutely loved your volunteering experience, but can’t travel again too soon?  Volunteering doesn’t necessarily mean moving base.  There are countless opportunities right on your doorstep, in a variety of sectors including conservation, teaching or working with children.  Schemes like the ‘V-inspired Award’ in the UK give volunteers a nationally recognised award for voluntary actions.  Now that you have had a taste of helping a community aboard, why not utilise your newly acquired skills and experience to improve your own. 

Boost Your Employability

“What does volunteering abroad have to do with my work prospects?” you may ask.  Well, it shows you are willing to learn new skills, overcome challenges and work well outside your comfort zone – and that’s just for starters!  Volunteering abroad is just what your CV needs to shine, it separates you from the crowd.  The skills you have picked up can be applied to the workplace, so don’t forget to stress them in interview and on paper; what you have learnt might be just what employers are looking for.

Stay in Touch

Make the most of your volunteering experiences by staying in contact with the people you shared it with.  Whether that is volunteer colleagues or members of the community you worked with, keeping in contact will not only allow you to reminisce, but retaining relationships may yield advantages.  Having a network of volunteers, campaigners and innovators from across the globe may not only give you an excuse to visit them overseas, but it is a bank of resources for career and educational pursuits. 

Continue Your Adventures

You’ve spent a couple of nights at home, caught up with friends and family, and now you’re starting to get the itch to start all over again.  So, do it!  As a veteran volunteer, you will understand the do’s and don’ts this time around which means you will be able to plan an even better and more productive trip.  Applying to a new volunteer organisation or agency will also be easier than first time round as your previous skills and knowledge will be highly desired.  With every new adventure, you will learn more and make a greater impact on the world around you.  

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