You’ve established yourself in college and are enjoying all its freedoms and advantages. There’s a routine that you are in and everything is as under control as you can get it. But you have some free time during the days and you would like to do something useful with it.
Community service, the voluntary kind, can be a source of immense opportunity and the foundation of a better career and future. Beginning down this road is something will take some thought though, because investing yourself and your time in a project that you have little interest in now can result in one of those moments of negative epiphany later.
One of the first benefits of performing community service is your ability to take an active role in local events, getting to know people outside of your circle and bringing your own set of talents and ideas to a group having mutual interests. Being knowledgeable about specific areas is great. Being able to see your knowledge applied and transformed into a meaningful result motivates you to become even better.
If you don’t have a lot to offer in knowledge, consider community service as a valuable learning experience,, with the added advantage of being able to see how learning and doing are applied in real world situations. Think of it as on the job training that you can get for free.
Whether you walk in with knowledge or an apprentice attitude, your actions will translate into a tangible benefit for others in the community ‚Äì and perhaps around the world. Even if your initial intentions are less than completely altruistic, others will benefit from your effort. What appears to be, and in some cases may be, self-serving, actually results in the fulfillment of a higher purpose.
There are many organizations whose primary focus is simplistic – in a good way. One reason is that the goal has an international interest targeted at less developed nations. Sophisticated technologies are not universal, so the challenge may be intellectually adapting to a culture you are totally unfamiliar with. This type of community service can be viewed in the role of being an exchange student ‚Äì exchanging your knowledge and time for the knowledge of another people and culture.
Community service is definitely a resume builder. Your participation builds a foundation for transferring your education and degree into a real world waiting to see what you are offering to it. The more your community service is directly related to your chosen career path, the more potential employers will see your long term commitment is supported by actions and not merely words.
Seeing our personal efforts serve a higher purpose is one of the intangible personal assets we can all take to bed at night. The wealth/money factor does not need to be diminished in this process ‚Äì you can get paid well for serving other people and causes. But community service can bring new perspective to the concept of work and the reality of a higher purpose.