Break the Rut: 4 Ways to combat disillusionment & demotivation during volunteering
It’s easy to get disillusioned and demotivated while being a volunteer; sometimes what you get is not what you imagined, or what you signed up for! Regardless, your time and you are always valuable, so here’s 4 ways to shake off the despair and to power forward with your volunteering endeavours!
Communication is key — if the reason you feel demotivated is because you think your time is not being effectively used, or if you think that there’s a lot more value you could be adding, do not be afraid to speak to person coordinating and handling volunteers, whether it’s at ConnectFor, or at the NGO. Often times, it makes the other party more aware of you and leads to an effective resolution and change. If the NGO doesn’t know how you feel, do not expect things to change suddenly!
Set Clear Targets — even if no one is checking in on your work, set your self clear targets and deliverables on things that are in your control. Teaching kids? Decide what concept you will complete by when. Doing Data Entry? Set a standard for the number of entries you want to do per day. Chaperoning a picnic? Decide how many kids’ names you will learn in the course of the day. You will be surprised by how accomplished you will feel by working this way!
Remind Yourself Why You Started — when things seem difficult, remind yourself of why you decided to volunteer in the first place. Think about the cause that drove you to this, or about the difference you’re trying to see in the world. Then remind yourself that even the little bit you’re doing is one step closer to making that change. Always remember, no matter how little it seems, it much much better than nothing at all!
Share Your Experiences — there’s always something to be said about shared experience. If you are frustrated, talk to a fellow volunteer, or a friend and vent out your frustration. Write it in a journal or blog about it. Get it off your chest and open yourself up for people to respond. You will be surprised by the response and encouragement you receive; very often it will be just the rejuvenation you were looking for!