What NOT to do when volunteering

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  1. Don’t be overconfident at the interview

    Just because it’s a volunteer position doesn’t mean that they’ll take in just anyone. Treat your volunteer interview as a regular job interview. Be prepared and come on time. Be formal and courteous. Prove that you have the skills to help the organization.

  2. Don’t say yes when you do not have time

    Do not overcommit. Remember that you need time for your family and career. Too much work can lead to stress, illness or burn-out. Manage your time wisely.

  3. Don’t regard the work as trivial

    Volunteer work is important. Many organizations depend on it. Make your work count by always doing your best. Be reliable, cheerful and enthusiastic.

  4. Never risk your safety

    Know and follow safety standards. You have the right to refuse any task that is dangerous or may cause harm to yourself or others.

  5. Don’t choose easy jobs

    Don’t ask for easy or comfortable jobs. Volunteering is a service. It’s not about you. Be open and flexible. That’s how you will learn new skills and ideas.

  6. Don’t be a complainer

    No workplace is perfect. Be tactful when giving suggestions for improvement. Giving your service for free does not give you the right to be demanding.

  7. Don’t wait for rewards

    Some organizations give volunteer discounts and small gifts like t-shirts or snacks. Others may offer paid positions when jobs become available or give recommendations. These are possible, but are not guaranteed. Don’t complain or say bad things about an organization when they do not meet your needs and expectations.

  8. Don‘t keep to yourself

    Networking is one of the best rewards of volunteering. Talk to the people around you. You’ll improve your English and small talk skills. Stick with friendly people if you are shy. You’ll get used to it no time.

Sources: 10 tips for being the best volunteer you can be, Tails; What makes a good volunteer? ELI Abroad; and 4 easy ways to become a better volunteer, Hannah Trull, Nonprofit hub. All retrieved July 3, 2018.

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