Volunteering: Unique Opportunity or Cheap Labour?

Amazingly, in the course of my work, i have had people ask me what it means to volunteer and what it takes to be a volunteer. You may find this surprising because volunteering may not be new to you however, there are many out there who are interested in knowing what volunteering means and what it takes to volunteer. A volunteer is a person who is willing to work
or take up roles out of his/her own choice and is not expecting a financial gain or reward. Volunteering is the act of the doing the job as a volunteer.

I have always believed volunteering provides a unique opportunity for persons who want to
develop their careers, gain new skills, make impact in the communities while finding joy experiencing volunteering. If you have by chance had an encounter with me and we were talking career development, i may have possibly mentioned 'volunteering' in the course of our discussions because, it is one area i am passionate about and indeed one of the ways to have a leap in your career. I know many would wonder, how? Since there is no salary, how will this happen? Well, the good thing is that, volunteering experiences cannot be completely told by the volunteers themselves. This is because, you can only understand the experience by having a feel of it yourself....that is, by taking up volunteering opportunities. Volunteering offers very unique opportunities, memorable and irreplaceable experiences.

If you are considering a change of career into the development sector or you are already in development and planning to change sectors, one way to help yourself while waiting for that dream job of yours is by volunteering. This would offer you the opportunity to learn about the new sector you wish to move into. Volunteering can be described as a 'win-win' situation. This is because it involves the volunteer getting new experiences, learning, opportunities, and at the same time, affecting lives and communities by making positive impact. Some call volunteering 'cheap labour'. This could be true when volunteering opportunities are abused. Especially from the angle of the employers of labour. From the volunteer's angle, indeed, it is always a 'win-win' situation.

Are you still posting your CV or resume to career sites, different organizations and companies? Please continue but while you do, if you are not currently working, consider volunteering today. Next time, I would be writing about how to go about volunteering. Watch this space! :-)


  1. Volunteering provides great opportunities for wholesome and total self development. It is a self imposed,out of conviction though, state to serve, share or help and most often to learn too. You do all these without expecting any reward- of course it may come and in different ways. Many a important persons',firms', and offices' otherwise closed doors would readily open the moment one knocks with his/her volunteering credentials or capabilities. Presently my VSO volunteering escapades(full story later) has attracted an agro investor Dr Paul Adoyi , CEO Farmergiant Nig Ltd to invest in a N10million poultry project in Laminga Community in Nasarawa State. And i now have a consultancy job too as the Manager Operations and Quality Control Farmergiant Nig Ltd.!

  2. Thank you Babacele for that insightful comment! Am happy to know that you are one of those who have benefited from volunteering and found it useful for your development. I hope other people who are still unsure about what value a person could get from volunteering would learn from your experience. Congratulations on your job too! :-)


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