In this section, we discuss the characteristics and motivators that are relevant and necessary for international volunteering. International volunteering involves hard work, sacrifice, and being pushed beyond your comfort zone. It is important that you have the necessary characteristics and motivation to sustain you.
Characteristics are features or qualities that define and identify a person. We all have physical characteristics such as height, skin tone, hair texture, body shape, and so on. What is more important are emotional characteristics or personality traits such as integrity, loyalty, humour, generosity, sincerity, self-control, patience, determination and tolerance.
Task 1 – What are important characteristics for a volunteer?
All tasks arecompulsory in order to successfully complete the course. Your answers must be a minimum of 200 words and a maximum of 500 words.
Think about your own personality traits. Which words would you use to describe yourself? List three characteristics you think would be most important and influential in your role as an international volunteer, and why.
There are several characteristics which are particularly important for an international volunteer (adapted from AIESEC, 2018):
As you can see, these characteristics will be helpful in your role as a volunteer. Carefully consider whether you have the necessary personality traits to succeed as a volunteer and to make a valuable contribution. You may even have additional character strengths which set you apart from others, and which you could harness to reach your full potential as a volunteer.
Click on the following link to complete the VIA Survey for Youth, a short survey that will reveal some of your character strengths. The survey is based on the “Classification of Character Strengths and Virtues” (Peterson & Seligman, 2004): Character Strengths Survey (Values in Action (VIA) Institute on Character, 2020)
According to Paul Tough (Thomson & Ahluwalia, 2012), there are several unique personality traits which are necessary for success. These traits are:
Figure 1 Traits necessary for success (Thomson & Ahluwalia, 2012)
You will notice that some of these overlap with the characteristics that make volunteering that much easier and rewarding. It is vital to reflect on whether you have the necessary characteristics to be a volunteer.