April 21, 2024

In a place like Lagos that is highly competitive in virtually everything, one way to stand out and have substantial work experience in anything is by volunteering. Volunteering involves working for a cause without being paid to do so. 

While it might seem to be a total waste of time working for free when you can get paid, volunteering isn’t a waste of time. Wherever there is high competition, a way of getting an unfair advantage is to volunteer your way in and this is a well established fact that most organisations won’t hire someone who hasn’t gone through a sort of volunteering in the CV. 

Why Volunteer in Lagos? 

A popular notion among people in Lagos is that the city is for making money and nothing else, so why does it make sense that in such a place where everyone is concerned about securing a job or a contract, people still volunteer. Here are some of the reasons why it is ideal to volunteer in a place as competitive as Lagos.

Learn New Industry Skills

Volunteering in a place like Lagos offers a vast opportunity for one to acquire new skills especially skills that relate to the field one is aspiring to enter. A web developer seeking a role as a web developer in Lagos can acquire more work related skills like coordination, working under schedule and deadlines, communication and even learn new hacks in web development if they volunteer to help a nonprofit organisation build a website.

Boost Portfolio

There have been many unstable situations where people got jobs not because of their academic qualifications or how they performed in interviews, but due to their portfolio activities. A portfolio is a quick way to have job employment leverage when seeking for work, especially in a competitive place like Lagos. If no one will employ you, look for volunteering opportunities and add them to your portfolio, no employer rejects it as it proves that you are a potential reliable employee.

Gives You Work Experience

One unfair advantage that volunteering brings is the ability to gain valuable work experience even without actually working. It is a sort of internship that equips you to understand how it is like to be in a real work environment. Imagine starting your first ever paid job and instantly understanding and adapting to the whole process. This is what volunteering does.

Get a Job

While some people don’t really volunteer to get jobs and some volunteer to build their network, the majority of people volunteer to get a job and this is very easy to achieve. In an opportunity to volunteer in Lagos, when you give your all, you stand a higher chance of being hired by that organisation or they might even look for a job for you if they are not hiring. 

No organisation wants to spend money recruiting when they already have a potential employee with them as a volunteer. In a research I did about people who have attained high positions in different organisations, I found out that the majority of these people once volunteered in that organisation before being hired full-time.

Opportunities to Volunteer in Lagos

Being a very densely populated place with lots of organisations, Lagos stands out as the best places in Nigeria to find volunteership opportunities and here are some ways of getting opportunities to volunteer in Lagos.

Eventbrite

Eventbrite is a platform where lots of events in Nigeria are posted and tickets booked. The platform offers a feature that allows users to filter for events based on certain parameters like location and opportunities for volunteering. 

Additionally, Eventbrite displays the contact information of the event host(s) and providers making it a very good place for people looking for volunteering opportunities to contact organisers.

LinkedIn

LinkedIn is the social media platform for professionals and as such it is a global platform that enables people to connect and find jobs. One thing that makes LinkedIn stand out when it comes to volunteering is that there are physical events hosted by LinkedIn communities and even companies. 

These companies and organisations usually headquartered in Lagos are typically on LinkedIn to hire employees, but at the same time, they host offline events and it is from these events that volunteers can find opportunities. 

Health Emergency Initiative

This is an organisation that is powered majorly by volunteers. The Health Emergency Initiative also referred to as HEI is a not for profit organisation with a strong presence in Lagos that works to provide accessible and affordable emergency healthcare. Volunteering in this organisation can be particularly helpful if you’re looking to land a job in the healthcare field and need good working experience and skills to add to your portfolio.

Junior Achievement Nigeria

The Junior Achievement Nigeria is an NGO focused on empowering youths in the country with life necessary skills. Having a focus on Nigeria’s most populated city, Lagos, this NGO serves as a good resource for people wanting to volunteer with their skills. It is a good way to show potential employees that you are really stocked with the skills you’re bringing to the organisation. Your ability to teach a skill proves that you’re knowledgeable in it.

The Lagos State Volunteer Corp

The Lagos State Volunteer Corp is another NGO in Nigeria dedicated to impacting the lives of the younger generation. As a result of the nature of the organisation, they are constantly taking in volunteers to participate in their mission of community service and development in Lagos and outside. This organisation stands as a platform for individuals who want to dedicate their time and skills to making the society a better place. 

Volunteers in Lagos State Volunteer Corp connect with their community, impacting fellow Lagosians directly. Joining means being crucial to building a stronger, kinder, and vibrant Lagos. It’s a chance to make a difference and leave a lasting mark in Nigeria’s heart. Aside from your impact, you can add it to your CV.

How To Become a Volunteer In Lagos

It is understandable that a lot of people would be very willing to volunteer if they have the opportunity, but don’t know how to go about it. This is why I added this guide to help you find the right option should you want to volunteer.

Have a Survival Plan

As a reminder, volunteering in Lagos isn’t paid. Though some organisations offer tokens of appreciation to their volunteers, it is too meagre and comes very infrequently making it very unreliable. So if you’re aspiring to become a volunteer in Lagos, your survival plan must be set and solid. 

You must understand that your act of free service won’t foot your bills. Get your survival throughout your period of volunteering all mapped out. In this scenario, students and young people under parental care can easily adapt. This is also another reason why you should start volunteering on time so that when you are set to enter the job force, you will have little work to do.

Know Your Why 

Many venture into volunteering without having a definite ‘why’. It is crucial you understand why you are going to volunteer. Make it clear before starting. Some volunteer to learn more, others to expand their network, some as a leveller for getting a job while others are simply fueled by altruistic intents. If you do not understand the reason you’re offering to do something for free consistently, you will likely end up frustrated and gain nothing in the end.

Know Your Strengths

Understand that you’re built differently from others and as such, you can’t possibly do what they do. Not all tasks are equal, some are energy draining while others are not. Know where you work best and go for it. 

A writer must never volunteer as a graphic designer, nor is someone who’s afraid of blood volunteer in an organisation that works in health emergencies. When possible, inform the organisation beforehand so while assigning roles, you’d get a task that you’re a high performer for.

Find The Best Volunteer Opportunity

Now that you have outlined these three, use the information to find the best opportunity for you. If you’re volunteering majorly for getting a job, LinkedIn will favour you more and if you just want to express yourself or grow your network among peers, Eventbrite should be your go-to place. Volunteering might be unpaid or underpaid, but its benefits are definitely great.

Wrap Up 

Volunteering is a way of giving back selflessly to society. Whatever comes out from it as it always does is yours to be honoured as a remembrance. 

By volunteering, you can penetrate a thick and highly competitive job market as Lagos, build yourself and your influence. Do not let the fear overtake you. Take that bold step today and see things turn out for you as it has done for us all.

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