11 June 2020 - "Developing and Growing Your Talent Through Volunteering"
We at Volunteer The Hague love serving our expat community, and one of our favorite ways to do this is by hosting periodic workshops and events on various topics that are of particular interest to internationals. One of the unfortunate (yet understandable) aspects about the COVID-19 pandemic is that we’ve had to put these gatherings on hold. One way we’re trying to adapt is by making some of what we do remote-friendly. To that end, last Thursday 11 June, we hosted our first ever webinar, “Developing and Growing Your Talent Through Volunteering,” presented by our very own project manager, Tetyana Benzoural!
Thanks to the wonders of modern technology, our webinar went beyond lecture-style to include some interactive elements, thanks to Mentimeter, which allowed Tetyana to get real-time responses from the webinar audience to some of the questions she asked during the presentation. Along with the attendees, Tetyana started with a brainstorm, asking the audience important questions about what types of tasks and assignments have been motivating and exciting in the past. This is something important to think about, because being introspective about the things that motivate you is the first step to defining your own talent, as well as your own goals. What about these tasks motivated you? What about these tasks moved you forward to other similar tasks? And what do your answers to your questions say about you, your personality, and your innate skills and talents?
Webinar participants share their opinions and experiences during the presentation
Volunteering can be a valuable addition to your professional list of accomplishments
We firmly believe that volunteer work is just as valid for a CV or interview as paid job experience and encourage everyone who wants to hone their talents and skills to take up volunteer work if they have the time. But it’s important to carefully consider where you want to put your energy and why. With this in mind, Tetyana talked about the difference between Cause-Based and Skills-Based Volunteering. Some people take on volunteer positions because they are passionate about a cause, while others are looking to gain new skills. One reason is not better than the other, and many people find opportunities that check both boxes!
According to Tetyana, hard work does beat talent. What's your opinion?
It’s also important to define some logistical aspects, such as your time commitment: do you want long-term opportunities, or are you interested in shorter, episodic volunteer work? Do you want to work alone or in a team?
Once you have an idea of your interests, skills, and talents, it’s important to define what you want to learn from a volunteer experience and how you want it to shape you. It’s important to remember that volunteering often has hidden opportunities, including the potential for such work to be a stepping stone to career advancement or to a new career. Keep track of what you have brought to the organization where you are volunteering, and use what you have brought to leverage volunteering for your career success.
We want to thank all of our fantastic attendees for making our first webinar a success. We hope you got as much out of it as we did! We’ll be holding more webinars in the near future, with one already planned for July, so keep an eye out for future announcements from us!
About the Presenter
Tetyana Benzeroual, BSc (Hons) Psychology, is an expat who has been in The Hague with her family for the last five years. She started her career path in The Netherlands as a volunteer and was later hired as a project manager here at Volunteer The Hague, where she works with the Municipality to fulfill our mission of connecting local internationals with meaningful volunteer opportunities at local nonprofit organizations. Tetyana is a true citizen of the world who has lived, studied, and worked across North America and Europe. She is keen to share with you her experience and expertise, as well as to give you some insider tips on how volunteering can benefit your career!