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When The “Like”Button Isn’t Enough: 6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Volunteer For A Cause

When The “Like”Button Isn’t Enough: 6 Reasons Why Everyone Should Volunteer For A Cause

Huge advancements in medicine, technology, and etc. over the past decades have ensured that most of us in developed countries live in big cities where we don’t have to worry about keeping our bellies full, sheltering ourselves from the elements, getting medical attention, receiving education and having access to all kinds of luxuries and entertainment. However this is not the case with a large number of people across the globe, people who live in poverty and don’t have access to even the basic life necessities, let alone luxuries. The sad truth is that there are a number of problems in the world that require our full attention and devotion.

There are plenty of causes, but very few people willing to actually help out

Some of the biggest problems in undeveloped countries are the following: lack of effective education and medical facilities, lack of food and water, poaching and the destruction of habitats of many endangered species, rampant prejudice towards people of different ethnicity or sexuality, homelessness, and people struggling with addiction or emotional and psychological problems. There are an estimated 150 million homeless children roaming the streets of the world left to their own devices.

Simply clicking a like button or sharing an article does nothing to help deal with these issues – we can all be aware of these problems, but unless someone actually does something about them, these problems will continue to plague humanity. Every little bit helps, and there are several good reasons why more people should get involved.

1. Your effort will make an actual difference

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GVN make a difference

    How many of us are just toiling away at our jobs, waiting for the workday to fly past, so we can go home? How many students are just sitting around clicking away on the internet feeling bored out of their mind? There is no real purpose to it and you can’t see any serious changes being made. Even when raising awareness or collecting money for a cause by distributing simple promotional items, you can see the change on people’s faces as they ask about more information on how they can help.

    You can see just how much funds you have collected, and you know that they will go towards creating homes, distributing food and medical materials or building an animal sanctuary. When you can clearly see how your actions are making a direct impact, then you are motivated to keep pushing forward – e.g. when you go out and help nurture a baby tiger so that it can be released back into the wild or when you spend a few hours teaching poverty-stricken children English.

    2. You develop strong connections and learn to work in a team

    GV teamwork

      There is a very warm feeling that comes over you when you see another person wearing a blood donor shirt, wearing a silicone bracelet from a fundraising event or a “bracelet of hope” where the funds collected from sales go towards fighting aids in Africa. The feeling of camaraderie you get when working with people on the project and the bonds you create with the local people – especially the children – are something that will stick with you for life.

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      You can keep in touch with your fellow volunteers, make some friends, and even meet the person you decide to share your life with. Another bonus is that you learn to work as part or even lead a team, work under stressful conditions and use outside-the-box thinking to find quick solutions to problems. When you engage in physically demanding activities like building, planting gardens and child care, you learn about good work ethics and can even improve your fitness.

      3. You will develop a new understanding and appreciation of nature and different cultures

      WLV develop appreciation

        We tend to become very short-sighted and even narrow-minded if we never leave our little city or our home country. Most people have never seen any animals – except dogs, cats and rats – in their natural environment or have never spent a day in the wild. There is just so much to learn about different cultures and about nature in general. Being so close to these creatures and so far from the luxuries of the modern world helps you gain a new perspective on life and opens your eyes to some of the real problems that are facing our planet.Some 85% of land in Europe has been modified, destroying natural habitats, and rainforest ecosystems have lost well over 90% of their former area due to human deforestation efforts.

        Interacting with people from all across the globe and from very different socioeconomic backgrounds also helps develop compassion and tolerance, which are essential steps towards building a true global society. You can collect a wealth of knowledge and experience nature first-hand by volunteering in an animal sanctuary and working with people in national parks to help preserve wildlife.

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        4. The experience won’t just make you “feel good”, it will make you grow

        Globalteer growth

          While some people will tell you about how great it feels to help others and how much it can do for your own mental and emotional well-being, the truth is that the experience of volunteering for a good cause changes you deep down inside. It’s not about feeling good about yourself and earning bragging rights – it’s about learning about the harsh realities of the world, but at the same time seeing the kindness inherent in humans that manages to thrive in even the worst imaginable circumstances and suffering.

          You will mature emotionally and become wiser as the rose-tinted glasses fall from your eyes. Working with impoverished street children who are often forgotten by the government, and helping them grow into healthy and productive members of society will also help you grow into a better person.

          5. You will learn a lot of new and interesting things

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          PA internship

            Aside from getting some valuable teamwork skills, you will be able to learn a whole host of new skills you didn’t even think of. It’s not unusual for volunteers to learn how to prepare ethnic meals, learn how to dance or become quite handy with household DIY projects. Of course, some of the best ways to combine something that is good with something that is useful is to hone your skills by doing your internship in a third world country. Around 22,000 children die every day because they lack basic living necessities, and there are an estimated 2.2 million annual deaths due to lack of immunization. People with a medical and healthcare background are always needed and welcome in various communities and it’s a good way to get tons of hands-on experience and learn to work in adverse conditions with limited resources.

            6. It will look great on your CV and improve your people skills

            ItoI porject skills

              After all is said and done, there is also a very practical reason why you should volunteer for a cause – it is an excellent thing to have on your CV. To company execs this says that you are a good and trustworthy person who has a strong work ethics and can work in tough conditions. The experience will also teach you important people skills, teamwork and creative problem solving which can all translate well into any other area of your professional and personal life. In other words, spending some time building homes for the poor will help you develop several very practical skills that will come in handy even in a modern business environment.

              As you can see, volunteering is not only an effort that benefits a noble cause – it also benefits the person doing the volunteering in a lot of ways. Once you have roamed with the wild predators, built homes with your own two hands, helped underprivileged children learn something and connected with other kind and generous people from around the globe, very few things will be able to extinguish your faith in humanity.

              Featured photo credit: isafmedia via flickr.com

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              Ivan Dimitrijevic

              Ivan is the CEO and founder of a digital marketing company. He has years of experiences in team management, entrepreneurship and productivity.

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              Last Updated on May 22, 2020

              What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

              What Makes a Good Leader: 9 Critical Leadership Qualities

              The word “leader” makes you think of people in charge, high-ranking people: your boss, politicians, presidents, CEOs…

              But leadership really isn’t about a particular position or a person’s seniority. Just because someone has worked for many years doesn’t mean s/he has gained the qualities and skills to lead a team.

              Getting promoted to a managerial position doesn’t automatically turn you into a leader either. CEOs and other high-ranking officials don’t always have great leadership skills.

              So what makes a good leader? What are the characteristics of a leader?

              Good leadership is about acquiring and honing specific skills. Leadership skills enable you to be a role model for a team in any environment. With great leadership qualities, successful leaders come in all shapes and sizes: in the home, at school, or in the workplace.

              The following are some of the many characteristics great leaders exhibit.

              1. A Positive Attitude

              Great leaders know that they won’t have a happy and motivated team unless they themselves exhibit a positive attitude. This can be done by remaining positive when things go wrong and by creating a relaxed and happy atmosphere in the workplace.

              Even some simple things like providing snacks or organizing a team Happy Hour can make a world of difference. An added perk is that team members are likely to work harder and do overtime when needed if they’re happy and appreciated.

              Even in the worst situations, such as experiencing low team morale or team members having made a big mistake at work, a great leader stays positive and figures out ways to keep the team motivated to solve the problems.

              Walt Disney had his share of hardships and challenges, and like any great leader, he managed to stay positive and find new opportunities. In 1928, Disney found that his film producer, Charles Mintz, wanted to reduce his payments for the Oswald series. Mintz threatened to cut ties entirely if Disney didn’t accept his terms, and Disney chose to part ways. But in leaving Oswald, Disney decided to create something new: the iconic Mickey Mouse[1].

              The key is to break down huge challenges into smaller ones and find ways to tackle them one by one.

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              Think about the lessons you can learn from the mistake and jot them down because sometimes you win, and sometimes you learn.

              2. Confidence

              All great leaders have to exhibit an air of confidence if they’re going to succeed. Please don’t confuse this with self-satisfaction and arrogance. You want people to look up to you for inspiration, not so they can punch you in the face.

              Confidence is important because people will be looking to you on how to behave, particularly if things aren’t going 100% right. If you remain calm and poised, team members are far more likely to as well. As a result, morale and productivity will remain high, and the problem will be solved more quickly.

              If you panic and give up, they will know immediately and things will simply go downhill from there.

              Elon Musk is a great example of a leader with confidence. He truly believes that Tesla will be successful, which he has shown many times through his actions. He converted 532,000 stock options at $6.63 each, their value on Dec. 4, 2009, before Tesla went public. It was a hefty bargain considering Tesla’s stock price stood at around $195 per share at that time. He doesn’t apologize for his beliefs and has drawn fire from just about everyone for his political actions.

              You can’t instantly become a very confident person, but all the small things you do every day will gradually make you more confident:

              • List 5 things you like about yourself every day (something different every day), and you’ll appreciate yourself more.
              • Work on your strengths and do your best to enhance them.

              3. A Sense of Humor

              It’s imperative for any kind of leader to have a sense of humor, particularly when things go wrong. And they will.

              Your team members are going to be looking to you for how to react in a seemingly dire situation. It would probably be best if you weren’t stringing up a noose for yourself in the corner. You need to be able to laugh things off because if staff morale goes down, so will productivity.

              Establish this environment prior to any kind of meltdown by encouraging humor and personal discussions in the workplace.

              As a president, Barack Obama exuded confidence and calm during stressful situations. But he was also known for his “dad jokes,”[2] his genuinely funny speeches at the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, and appearing on Zack Galifianakis’s Between Two Ferns.[3] Obama’s sense of humor made him grounded, realistic, and honest, which no doubt helped during some tense moments in the White House!

              Learn to laugh at yourself. Confident people laugh about their own silly mistakes, and when you do this, others will also trust you more because you’re willing to share your experiences.

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              Be observant and learn from the jokes others make. You can also get a lot of inspiration from the internet.

              4. Ability to Embrace Failure

              No matter how hard you try to avoid it, failures will happen; that’s okay. You just need to know how to deal with them.

              Great leaders take them in strides. They remain calm and logically think through the situation and utilize their resources. What they don’t do is fall apart and reveal to their team how worried they are, which leads to negative morale, fear, and binge-drinking under desks.

              Great leaders do, in fact, lead, even when they’re faced with setbacks.

              Henry Ford experienced a major setback after designing and improving the Ford Quadricycle. He founded the Detroit Automobile Company in 1899, but the resulting cars they produced did not live up to his standards and were too expensive. The company dissolved in 1901. Ford took this in stride and formed the Henry Ford Company. The sales were slow and the company had financial problems; it wasn’t until 1903 that the Ford Motor Company was successful and put the Ford on the map.

              Get to the root cause of any problem so you can prevent it from happening again and learn from the mistake.

              By asking “why” 5 times (or more) on why something happened, you can find out the key factor that caused the problem and can find the best solution to tackle the problem.

              You’ll also learn how to prevent this from happening again in the future after finding out a problem’s root cause.

              5. Careful Listening and Feedback

              This is far more complex than it actually sounds. Good communication skills are essential for a great leader. You may very well understand the cave of crazy that is your brain, but that doesn’t mean that you can adequately take the ideas out of it and explain them to someone else.

              The best leaders need to be able to communicate clearly with the people around them. They also need to be able to interpret other people properly and not take what they say personally.

              The Dalai Lama, as a symbol of the unification of the state of Tibet, represents and practices Buddhist values. The Dalai Lama’s leadership is benevolent and aims toward truth and understanding, alongside the other Buddhist precepts. This is a great example for all leaders: if you want to give good directions to others, you have to get feedback from others to understand the situation properly.

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              Encourage communication between team members and establish an open door policy.

              Practice not interrupting team members when they’re talking. Instead, summarize what they say and ask for feedback after you have talked about your ideas.

              6. Knowing How and When to Delegate

              No matter how much you might want to, you can’t actually do everything yourself. Even if you could, in a team environment that would be a terrible idea anyway.

              Good leaders recognize that delegation does more than simply alleviate their own stress levels (although that’s obviously a nice perk). Delegating to others shows that you have confidence in their abilities, which subsequently results in higher morale in the workplace, as well as loyalty from your staff. They want to feel appreciated and trusted.

              Although Steve Jobs was known for focusing in on the smallest of details, he knew how to delegate. By finding, cultivating, and trusting capable team members, Jobs was able to make Apple run smoothly, even when he had to be absent for extended periods of time.

              To know when and how to delegate work to team members, you have to be very familiar with each of them:

              • List out all of their strengths, weaknesses, and personalities.
              • Talk with your team members more to know about their passion and interests.

              Take a look at this guide and learn more about delegation: How to Delegate Work Effectively (The Definitive Guide for Leaders)

              7. Growth Mindset

              Any good leader knows how important it is to develop the skills of those around them. The best can recognize those skills early on. Not only will development make work easier as they improve and grow, it will also foster morale. In addition, they may develop some skills that you don’t possess that will be beneficial to the workplace.

              Great leaders share their knowledge with the team and give them the opportunity to achieve. This is how leaders gain their respect and loyalty.

              Pope Francis has been unusually popular with many Catholics and many non-Catholics. His position isn’t totally traditional, which is part of his appeal, but he also has admirable leadership skills. Pope Francis’s TED talk[4] drew attention because he encouraged leaders to be humble and to demonstrate solidarity with others. This inclusive, kind, and respectful style of leadership is incredibly important for any situation.

              It’s important to spend time talking with other team members individually to understand them.

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              Find out team members’ current challenges and try to give feedback and encouragement so they will grow and do better.

              8. Responsibility

              Great leaders know that when it comes to their company, work place or whatever situation they’re in, they need to take personal responsibility for failure. How can they expect employees to hold themselves accountable if they themselves don’t?

              The best leaders don’t make excuses; they take the blame and then work out how to fix the problem as soon as possible. This proves that they’re trustworthy and possess integrity.

              Howard Gillman is the chancellor of UC Irvine. You might have heard of how the university rescinded a bunch of acceptances, and then changed its mind[5], This past spring, an unusually high number of accepted students decided to matriculate; the school initially responded by rescinding offers over things like missed deadlines. But the college realized this was a mistake and reversed its decision. Gillman and the university accepted responsibility and decided to move past their earlier bad decision.

              Always ask yourself what you can do better or what you should change. Take responsibility and think about what you can do better to prevent this from happening next time.

              9. A Desire to Learn

              It’s safe to say that all great leaders will have to enter unchartered waters at some point during their career. Because of this, they have to be able to trust their intuition and draw on past experiences to guide them.

              Great leaders know that there’s always something to learn from everything they have experienced before. They are able to connect the present challenges with the lessons learned in the past to make decisions and take actions promptly.

              You can either recall what you’ve learned from your memories or search your notes (ideally, a software that you can access anywhere with things well-organized).

              Warren Buffett, one of the richest people in the world, has mostly made the right calls. But in dealing with huge amounts of money, Buffett has also made several multi-million (and sometimes multi-billion) dollar mistakes. He has stated that buying the company Berkshire Hathaway was his biggest mistake[6]. From that poor choice, he realized that it was unwise to pursue “improvements” and “expansions” in the existing textile industry. Despite mistakes like this, Buffett has invested wisely, and it shows.

              To effectively learn from the past, write down lessons you’ve learned from any mistakes you’ve made. Have all the lessons well organized, and when similar things happen again in future, take these lessons as references.

              The Bottom Line

              Leadership traits are learnable. If you practice consistently, you can be a great leader, too.

              Make small changes to your habits when you work with your team, wherever that may be. Most of us aren’t presidents or CEOs, but we all work with other people, and our actions always impact others. This gives every person the chance to develop leadership skills and to stand out from the crowd.

              More Tips on Leadership

              Featured photo credit: Markus Spiske via unsplash.com

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