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Raleigh International’s guide to making the most of your summer

Date added: Wednesday 26th March 2014

Raleigh volunteers open up a fresh water supply for a village in Borneo supervised by volunteer managersWhether you are at school, university, in training, on a career break or simply have a bit of spare time on your hands this summer, choosing what to do with that time can be a struggle. Whatever your situation, we want to share some of the ways we believe you can make the most of your time off.

1. Choices, choices...

It's exciting! This is your chance to do something you really want to do. Research the options available to you. The obvious place to start looking is the internet, but we also recommend talking to careers advisors or your employer, as well as friends and family. Once you have identified an opportunity or organisation you are interested in, ask questions. Make sure it is right for you. Set some goals to work out what you want to achieve. And achieve is the key word here. What is it that you want to accomplish? Make a positive difference? Give something back? Learn a language? Meet people from other cultures and backgrounds? Develop confidence? Write down a list and you can refer back to it to make sure your decision reflects what you want to achieve.

2. Refresh, reboot, recharge!

Long periods of work, training or studying can be exhausting. Use your time off to inspire and motivate you to make changes in your own life. Doing something completely different can help you gain perspective. It is often when you are most challenged and out of your comfort zone that you will learn the most about yourself, your impact on the world around you and what you want to do in the future.

3. Stand out from the crowd

In a tough employment market, it is increasingly difficult to stand out from other candidates, especially if you are just starting out in your career or are thinking about changing direction. ‘Give me an example of time when you worked as part of a team' or ‘tell me about a time when you had to solve a difficult problem' are standard interview questions, but doesn't mean you need to give standard answers! Gaining some skills outside of the office or classroom environment that will make your examples unique could guarantee that you'll be remembered over other applicants.

4. Make it positive

At Raleigh we are advocates of using your time off to achieve something positive. This could be rare chance to be a little less focused on yourself and a little more focused on others and the world around you. Not only will you feel motivated by your experience, you'll also get the satisfaction of knowing you are doing something worthwhile.

Steffi Collaco, says of her volunteer experience with Raleigh, "I was inspired by the children I worked with and motivated by meeting people from all over the world, they had a certain fire in their bellies and were very inspiring. I wanted to feel like that. Each step ahead of me is now more targeted, I feel more motivated because I know that I'm doing exactly what I want to do, having had the time out to think about my options."

5. Don't delay...

What are you waiting for? Life's too short to say ‘maybe next year'. Your time is now. Make it positive. Make it inspiring. Make it challenging.

Volunteering on a Raleigh expedition will give you the chance to help drive sustainable change in poor communities, travel to a new part of the world and meet some fascinating people, all whilst developing your own skills too.

Raleigh is a sustainable development charity. We are experts in our field. We are working towards a sustainable future and we're looking for people like you to make this happen.

Give us a call today to talk about our rewarding summer opportunities on 020 7182 1296.

Find out more about our expeditions


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