We live in times where it‘s not enough just to know A PROFESSION and have technical skills to manage your job experience well. Covid-19 lockdowns brought to attention of employers the skills that were not valued or were underrated previously.
At the moment the trendiest skills are called 21st CENTURY SKILLS and some of the skills it includes are:
- CRITICAL THINKING
- PROBLEM SOLVING
- COMMUNICATION SKILLS
- INFORMATION LITERACY
- TECHNOLOGY SKILLS AND DIGITAL LITERACY
You might think these skills are irrelevant in some professions, but almost any developed skill might be handy when conversation turns around career path, salary or personal life. We all are the masters of our own destiny and developing skills helps to open doors for opportunities, build a better life and higher self-esteem.
That‘s where Erasmus+ programme comes under radar. Activities here usually include non-formal education such as training courses, seminars, volunteering or other opportunities. There are many Erasmus+ activities concerning development of previously mentioned skills for free. The only problem is that many people don‘t have an idea or search for such opportunities, yet it is very easy to discover: just google „ERASMUS+“ or find it on Facebook.
If you are wondering how to find the motivation to participate in such programs, I‘d say: „Put yourself in situations where you have to solve the problems“. The reason I‘m saying this, is that I learned most of my skills by putting myself in problematic jobs or volunteering projects.
Volunteering for me is not a one-time experience, it’s a lifestyle
Let me shortly tell you about my volunteering experience. I‘ve been a volunteer for almost 15 years right now. Volunteering for me is not a one-time experience, it‘s a lifestyle. Since young age I was helping in NGOs and then went to volunteer to Italy – refugee center. There I faced the variety of the situations and had to solve many problems concerning:
- Cultural diversity
- Opinion diversity
- Conflicts between different groups of people
- Even pregnant women giving birth
And that‘s just a few. In each of these situations I had to react and solve them by myself. My reaction led me to knowledge of how to deal with different situations because I actively participated in them and didn‘t take passive position saying I will wait until someone else will solve it for me. The skills that helped me to learn SOLVE PROBLEMS were MOTIVATION and PERSEVERANCE.
It is easier just to let things be done by someone else around you and give the responsibility for the tasks to someone else but then you don‘t learn how to manage different situations and don‘t get to know how to behave in different situations, how to find the best ways to act. I did the opposite, in different situations I wanted to ACTIVELY PARTICIPATE in life happening around me and my job experiences and also to be PERSEVERANT about the problematic situations and instead of complaining how difficult they are – to ACT and ask people who know better how to solve them or figure out by myself what I can do in those situations. It is difficult at a times to continue MOVING FORWARD but it is better to move slowly, small STEP by STEP at a time, than to not move at all. Also, making MISTAKES ARE NORMAL part of the GROWTH process. So, more mistakes you make – more you can learn from them.
In conclusion, Erasmus+ programme comes in when you consider your professional and personal life to have more colours and intention. There are plenty stories and proves that Erasmus+ is useful and opens many doors. With opportunities in this field your can continue working on your skills, network and have lifetime experiences. The only decision you need to make is to choose to act and trust.