You have just arrived in Canada, you have a lot of free time, and you don’t know what to do. Should you become a volunteer or spend your day watching all the new, exciting shows on Netflix? Well, volunteering is highly regarded in Canada. Moreover, volunteers can get a lot of benefits from sharing their time and knowledge with the community. Here is some advice to help you make the right choice.
Why Should You Choose Volunteering over Netflix?
Become Familiar with the Culture
Thanks to the volunteering, you will have a better insight into the lifestyle of your host country. It is essential to become familiar with Canadian habits and customs because they are pretty different from the European ones. By being aware of cultural differences, you will avoid a few beginner mistakes. For example, Canadians have a more direct sense of humor. They don’t find second-degree humor particularly funny. It is always good to know, especially if you tend to make jokes during a job interview.
You will also have the opportunity to meet locals, even other ex-pats who have been living in Canada for years. It gives you an opportunity to get to know them and, hopefully, become friends. They will probably help you with your job search or integration, and point you in the right direction if need be.
Learn New Skills
« It is never too late to learn. » While working as a volunteer, you will not only improve your skills, but you will also be able to develop new ones. It is always good to have more than one string in your bow. And, it surely won’t go unnoticed on your resume.
Seize the Opportunity to Network
By joining an association, you will be able to extend your network. Indeed, the more people you meet, the faster your network will grow. With a bit of luck, if you meet someone who works in the same field than you, he/she might let you know as soon as there is a position available. Furthermore, he/she could even recommend you for it.
It’s Good to Do Some Good
Honestly, it feels good to support a cause and give your time to help people.
Do I Have to Stop Watching Netflix?
You don’t have to ban Netflix from your life definitively. Instead, you should use it in moderation because some research has shown that prolonged exposure to screens could have harmful effects on your body.
One of these effects is a lack of physical activity. Indeed, if you spend all your free time sitting on your couch, catching up on your new show, your body will lack exercise. It can lead to weight gain, among other things. Another issue is getting headaches and feeling tired due to eye strain. Now, if you are looking for a job or if you have started to have interviews, you want to be fresh, rested and alert. Moreover, if you spend most of your free time alone in your home, you won’t have many opportunities to socialize. Sometimes, it feels good to spend time with people. It can keep you motivated and bring you support.
To sum up, spending time volunteering offers many more benefits than staying home watching Netflix. Indeed, while volunteering, you will become more familiar with Canadian culture, create bonds, learn new skills and develop your network. However, if you had a hard week and you just want to chill out at home and watch some TV, it won’t hurt you. In fact, why not organize a movie night with the new friends you’ve met thanks to volunteering?