“You mean you work five days a week, four weeks a month without an actual pay?” If you work as a volunteer or you have, then you’ll be familiar with this question.

People work as volunteers for reasons best known to them. This isn’t about the benefits of volunteering,rather it’s about the transition from a place where you work for free to a place where you’re paid a fee for what you do.

As a young professional, there’s a level you get to and you’re confident to land paid roles with the skills you’ve garnered over years of voluntary work. It might be at the same place you work as a volunteer or somewhere different.

One thing you should know is that the game changes when you start getting paid.

I didn’t have enough knowledge on this and it did affect me when I got my first paid “9-5” job. So I’ll share some tips which you should keep in mind as you’re about to start that job or maybe you’ve even started.

  • Efforts are good, but measurable results are KING. I put the “king” in all caps so you can take note of it. As a volunteer staff, you might be applauded for the effort you put into getting things done. When you start getting paid, keep in mind that your remuneration comes from a source, and your work should contribute to the growth of that source. Your efforts aren’t enough again if they don’t translate to results that can easily be measured.
  • You can learn on the job, but do that as fast as you can. Employers and establishments vary in their level of patience and how much time they give for you to develop. So if you get a job and realize that you’re not properly grounded in a particular skill which is pivotal to you delivering results. Then act as fast as you can. Learn from existing staff and if they’re not willing to divulge enough, turn to Google and YouTube. Don’t stay complacent about your inability to carry out some of your duties. Learn as fast as you can and transfer the knowledge to your work.
  • Constantly juxtapose your remuneration with the value you give. This would help you evaluate yourself constantly. There’s a need for you to be a value adding personality at your place of work.
  • Your colleague doesn’t really need to be your friend. Maybe as a volunteer staff, you were adored by all and everyone smiled at you and gave you gifts. Well it might not be the same at your new place. Being colleagues is a form of relationship which you must do well to keep, but it doesn’t necessarily need to transfer into friendship.

Living, Learning and Growing