Volunteer opportunities can launch your career

Everyone has a passion in life. From love of animals, children or the planet, many will turn this passion into volunteer work and allot a certain amount of time or resources towards their favorite organization. If you are interested in volunteer work overseas, you might seriously consider turning your passion into a job or a career. For example, one paid volunteer opportunities abroad is organizations that teaches English to children of different countries. There are plenty of countries that need help with their children’s education and children’s charities. The best part is that your volunteer passion can become a job that can easily turn into a career, complete with a paycheck!

What Volunteer Work Is Right for Me?

There are plenty of volunteer organizations that you can choose from. You will want to volunteer where you have some knowledge, experience and, of course, interest. You will be a better volunteer if you are educated in that field. To volunteer as a teacher of English, you are going to want to have a good understanding and mastery of the English language. It will help if you studied English in college and even did some student teaching in the field. You are also going to want to be passionate about the people you will be teaching. You can choose to teach children or adults. As a volunteer, you will be spending a lot of time around people who don’t speak your language. Are you prepared to handle the language barrier? This is something all international volunteers need to be able to handle. Chances are good that you will be learning as you teach. For the teacher, you will undoubtedly learn the language of the country you are teaching.

What Is Needed to Become a Volunteer?

You are going to need a passport to travel out of the country. Make sure you have all of the paperwork you need to get to the country of your choice. Besides paperwork, you are going to want to know exactly what will be expected of you. That means meeting with the people who run the organization. These are the same people who will be likely to be offering you jobs within the organization or linking you to opportunities. Being passionate about the cause and what you’re doing will make all the difference, after all people will have a chance to sample who you are regardless if you are working for pay or as a volunteer. Who you are, is still who you are.

How to Convert To a Paid Volunteer Opportunities Abroad

Once you begin working as a volunteer, every skill and project will not only benefit the organization but it will benefit your resume. Keep in mind – that genuinely caring for what they’re doing is key as doing something to “only build your resume” can actually have negative ramification and damage your reputation. Genuine passion for the cause is usually all you will need to achieve a paid volunteer work abroad position. Oftentimes, the association you are volunteering for will offer you a job if you prove yourself to them. Know what is needed to be a good volunteer. Those same attributes are what they look for in a great employee. Stephen Covey said it best when he said “employees volunteer that which is most dear to them – their hearts and minds.” It will be easier for them to see you as an employee when they see your internal drive and motivation at work.

Volunteer service can also provide your opportunities to work in teams and develop skill sets that you might not already have. Many countries overseas don’t require a teaching degree, for example. You may have never taught people before but a volunteer group can help you learn what is required. You will also get hands-on training which is immeasurable. You will learn how to be a teacher. The whole volunteer opportunity can and should be a win for you, a win for the organization and a win for your fellow volunteers and co-workers.

Use the Volunteer Opportunity to Get Employed

Many paid work abroad opportunity’s can provide great value in your job search after you’ve finished service with them. Be sure to ask for copies of “thank you letters” or letters of appreciation from fellow volunteers, project leaders or the organization. You can also save the organization from investing in “thank you” plaques, gifts or trinkets if you let them know up front that the best “thank you” that you can receive is a letter of thanks for your hard work, dedication, integrity and trustworthiness – all attributes that any employer would love to hire.

Let them know what you are looking for in employment, too. In addition to great skills and experiences, you are creating a network of people worldwide who can be resources to you, friends, recommendations and links to future opportunities.

The people you volunteer with will know you are well trained. They already know of your experience and how you work, and that it have been an asset to the organization you served.

Whatever your passion is, follow it into volunteer work and then into a job opportunity. Overseas paid volunteer opportunities abroad provide a plethora or experiences that you may never see in your local area and will open all sorts of doors both internationally and nationally.

Brian Hawkins has traveled around the world twice and experienced being an expat in 4 of the best places for Americans to live abroad. Mr. Hawkins (pictured to the right in the Netherlands KPN office during the Queens Day Celebration) is currently the Internet Marketing Manager for Pingo.com a provider of International calling cards. You can follow Pingo on Twitter @TelephoneCard or Facebook at www.Facebook.com/YoPingo