We do not always take a moment to look back at the things we accomplish in our lives. If we do this more often, I believe that we will be able to better handle the challenges that will come our way in the future.
When we stop learning, we stop growing! Sounds Cliche? Maybe! But I strongly believe in it. Learning takes so many shapes and forms. People learn by reading a manual, hearing someone share the instructions of something, applying tasks themselves, observing someone else perform tasks infront of them and a combination of all these. Whatever your learning style is, one thing always enhances your own level of understanding, and that is
sharing your knowledge with someone else. Why is it important?
Let us say you want to explain to your team, your friends or a family member how to bake a cake with the aim to have them bake one.
If you explained the process to them, and
- they were able to bake the cake at once, your learning and knowledge on the steps are now more confirmed in your mind.
- they had several questions for you to elaborate, and you answered them, you have learned that your explanation could do with some tweaks to incorporate such details for the next round you explain the process
- they had some questions that you were unable to answer, you have just learned different areas to be covered in your process of baking a cake
Whatever the outcome is, you are definitely learning something out of it. I personally volunteer for three institutes with different causes and reasons.
I sit on the Steering Committee of the London Branch from the Chartered Quality Institute. I do this because nothing can be more empowering than engaging with like minded people who bring to the table today’s relevant situations with creative thinking and informal brainstorming on how to address them in different context and work environments.
I am one of the mentors for the new project managers who are part of the Project Management Institute – UK Chapter. The joys of mentoring people and seeing them progress in their career and grow their skills is very rewarding. The things I learnt from my mentoring relationships always make me smile.
I learnt that commitment and dedication has no age, gender, sector, years of experience or requires a certain amount of knowledge.
I learnt that facing challenges in a work environment is a routine in every person’s job.
I learnt that doing what you do in a different way means only that. It is different, not better nor worse, just different.
I learnt that in every situation you will find someone who will bring calmness to your challenge and someone who will fuel your anxiety. Working with both and maximising your benefit from these relationships is very important. They both help you maintain a balance.
But that is not all. I also volunteer for the Historic Royal Palaces as a visitor guide at Kew Palace. This is my joy and passion for history. I engage with visitors from around the world in such a beautiful setting.
And this is the best lesson I’ve learnt. In every context, every situation and every occurrence, people engage the most and work best when they have a sense of community and belonging.
I am very happy that my university – University of West London – has this initiative where students are recognised for the volunteering work they do on the side. It is great to have students in various age groups be aware that they can contribute and make a difference while learning and enhancing their own skills and knowledge.
This, of course, is just the beginning.. My volunteering continues!