Differences between working experience and volunteer work
Today, many organizations list work experience and volunteer work as being synonymous. Practically speaking, this concept is appropriate. However, it is limited in the sense that it tends to place volunteers into uniformity with employees rather than celebrating their unpaid work. Most of the tasks in any firm can be carried out by workers despite their designation as paid employees or volunteers. In fact, in most organizations, one can hardly tell the difference between an employee and a volunteer-based on the services offered by the two. Despite the subtle similarities between working experience and volunteer work, these two concepts have the numerous differences that alienate them both technically and functionally. This paper has carefully explored the differences between the two entities.
Three main absolute differences separate volunteer work and experience as an employee; the working hours assigned to them, the reason as to why they work, and the nature of work available to them.
The kind of work available to the two entities draws a thick line between the concepts of volunteer work and permanent employment. For workers on the payroll, the employers often hire their paid workforce based on; the amount of money available to pay salaries and allowances, and the labor laws as stipulated by the constitution. The labor laws tie the employer to hire a particular range of age. Moreover, the legislations are clear as to the specific hours employed persons are supposed to work, imposing some restrictions due to safety and so forth. Further, since there is a fixed number of paid jobs in any firm, employers often seek to hire people who have the best match for the job description in question. This results to a workforce that is relatively homogenous based on dynamics. On the other hand, volunteer workforce lacks boundaries and comes with a bit of infinite diversity (Gagné et al). Importantly, labor laws are vague about the legislations that tie volunteers. In fact, these laws do not directly apply to people who volunteer and therefore, persons of any age can work. Subsequently, any talent or skill is contributed towards the organization creating great diversity and great resource persons
Working hours differ significantly between volunteers and paid workers. Paid workers are often paid based on the number of hours they work. There exist different categories that classify how such employees should be paid. There are seasonal work, 24-hour wages, and hourly positions. On average, paid employees work an average of 30 to 40 hours a week. Generally speaking, the so-called ‘business hours’ are typically weekdays that run from 9 pm to 5 pm for most firms. Contrary, for volunteers, there are no rules that stipulate working hours. For instance, most volunteer assignments do not require that volunteers report to the physical location and offer services within the same amount of hours that paid workers are tied. Perhaps, most volunteers have more flexible working schedules that it is imagined. Usually, most volunteers dedicate less time to donating their services compared to permanent employees. Moreover, volunteers can choose to offer their services at any given time. It is for this reason that volunteers often burn out due to the lack of boundaries that stipulate what hours should be dedicated to service. For some firms, it is only volunteers that offer to work on weekends. For this reason, volunteers get more than adequate work exposure that comes handy in many instances. For most people, the experience they gain from volunteering offers them skills of a lifetime that they apply when they eventually get paid employment.
The reason people work is different based on the designation. Most people are motivated by the goal of earning a living. Hence, seeking for employment is more of a necessity than a choice. Choosing a particular job is determined by numerous factors. However, the principal motive is to find money to sort out bills here and there. On the other hand, volunteer work is less of this. Volunteer work cannot possibly substitute permanent employment. Often, it is done for reasons that are beyond those of earning a living (Day et al). Since volunteer work is not bound by the pressures of finance, persons in this designation are free to pursue their interests and passion. Many analysts consider volunteers as being ‘dream chasers.’ In effect volunteering provides individuals with an entirely different experience from that of paid workers. Volunteers are free to survey available positions and choose the one they best fit in. Ultimately, they end up giving their best shot and gaining relevant experience due to the excellent working opportunity that comes with the nature of such a task. Both groups of workers often display dedication and enthusiasm. One would then be tempted to think that devotion is what separates the two. However, it is the monetary factor that alienates paid workers from volunteers (Liao‐Troth and Matthew).
In conclusion, volunteer work, and working experience are different in numerous aspects. Significantly, the nature of the work and the time of exposure differ to a great extent. Further, the motivation and reasons behind the different work exposures are distinct.
Day, Kathleen M., and Rose Anne Devlin. “The payoff to work without pay: Volunteer work as
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Gagné, Marylène, and Edward L. Deci. “Self-determination theory and work motivation.”
Journal of Organizational behavior 26.4 (2005): 331-362.
Liao‐Troth, Matthew A. “Attitude differences between paid workers and volunteers.” Nonprofit
Management and Leadership 11.4 (2001): 423-442.