What to expect
Updated: Jun 30, 2021
‘Experience is simply the name we give our mistakes.’ – Oscar Wilde.
Wilde is often mis-attributed a lot of clever, witty, and insightful quips so please don't go to the bother of fact-checking me on this one. If Wilde didn't say it, someone did and I'm glad they did.
Because according to the quote, I have a lot of ‘experience’ in the volunteering department! What you can expect from these blog posts are the learnings I've gained so far.
I've written a few posts based on my mistakes *coughs* excuse me, *coughs* experience. On topics such as taking care of one’s own mental health while volunteering, for example. There's one on protecting yourself by maintaining a close distance from those you are helping, and one on using social media responsibly.
I've had a lot of learnings over my short and humble volunteering terms and as I'm often asked to lend advice on the topic, the best way for me to do this is share with you the learnings I've gotten from the mistakes I've made.
There may be moments when my tips come across as preachy and this first blog post is just to preface those moments by letting you know that that's not my intention.
I made just about every mistake in the volunteering book! Including but not limited to
putting others' needs before mine and neglecting my own well-being,
getting attached and creating a dependency,
making a promise to someone I was supposed to be helping and making things worse by breaking that promise,
treating those I was helping better than how I was treating my colleagues and family,
refusing to set a date of departure and failing to put a return to normality plan in place
I think I'll stop there. The point is, I made those mistakes and I learned from them and if I had the opportunity to sit down with my future self before volunteering, I could've avoided making them.
Of course, everyone is going to make their own mistakes and learn from them in their own way but my God doesn't it feel like an awful shame if we can't pass on just a fraction of our learnings?!
Here's hoping you enjoy the tips and that maybe they'll help you as you embark on your volunteering and fundraising journeys.