Exploring Your Volunteer Interests
Asking yourself the following questions can help in brainstorming your area of interest and to assist in deciding the program you'd like to volunteer.
- What issues and causes matter the most to me? Choose an organization that addresses the causes that matter to you so you don’t lose interest in volunteering.
- What are my strengths and skills? Pick a volunteer position that will use your strengths and skills. Not only will you enjoy yourself, you may also gain insight about what career field you want to enter after graduation.
- How much time do I have to commit to volunteering? Make sure that you will uphold your volunteer services agreement. Some volunteer opportunities require more time commitment from their volunteers than others. Ask someone at the organization about how much time they expect from volunteers.
- What kind of environment do I want to work in? Never pick volunteer work that will make you uncomfortable. Choose something that agrees with your personality. If you dislike working in large groups, for example, volunteering at a library may be the perfect fit. Are you better behind the scenes or do you prefer to take a more visible role?
- Where is the volunteer opportunity located? Choose to volunteer at a place that is convenient for you to get to.
Choosing a Volunteer Method
Direct Service: Volunteers provide service directly to the clients of a community-based organization. This may include tutoring children, assisting elderly residents in a nursing home, serving meals at a homeless shelter, etc.
Indirect Service: Volunteers serve at an agency and/or on behalf of an issue/population by providing logistical assistance, developing fundraising programs, creating marketing plans, participating in painting/construction projects, or providing training for staff, students, or community members.