Do you want to contribute to making the world a bit better? Want to use your skills and talents to make a difference, or fight for those who don’t have a voice?
Well, in addition to fulfilling your interests and giving you that warm, fuzzy feeling, being an activist can actually help you get a brilliant job in the future. That’s because activism helps you develop lots of important skills that employers love – and you don’t have to choose a career in politics or campaigning for these abilities to come in handy.
First up: what is an activist anyway? In a nutshell, an activist is someone who campaigns to bring about social change. They could be launching social media campaigns like #ThisGirlCan to encourage girls into sport, or joining a political march to protest the rise in university fees.
Here are 5 ways activism can help your career – no matter what job role you choose.
1. It’ll help you become a true leader
What issue do you really care about? Homelessness, street harassment, poverty, climate change? Whatever it is, organising a campaign to raise awareness of the problem can give you some fantastic skills for work.
Maybe you could launch a social media hashtag to draw attention to the issue and encourage people to get behind the issue you care about. Arrange public meetings and contact local politicians for their support. Launching your very own campaign demonstrates strong leadership skills and shows employers than you can take initiative.
2. It can make you a pro presenter
Become an activist by joining the UK Youth Parliament. The Youth Parliament elects
members from all over the country to represent young people on important social issues like education, work and equal rights.
Getting involved with the Youth Parliament is a great way to build confidence and learn how to debate. What’s more, you’ll develop excellent presentation skills – which is a brilliant addition to your first CV.
3. It’ll give you a real knack for problem-solving
What is an activist? Well it doesn’t necessarily need to be a loud political protester, activism can happen everywhere. Why not consider joining your school council or politics group?
By convincing your fellow students why they should care about different problems, and then finding solutions, you’ll be giving your problem-solving skills a boost. Being able to come up with answers to many different kinds of problems, puzzles and conundrums at work is really important for pretty much any job.
4. It can make you a great communicator
If you’re interested in making your local community better for the people who live there, you could choose to volunteer with your local council. In order to learn about the issues and problems facing your neighbours, you’ll need to develop excellent communication and active listening skills.
5. It will teach you how to be adaptable
Being an activist isn’t always easy. You could experience lots of setbacks or disappointments, for example when you’re finding it hard to convince people to join your cause, or your campaign hashtag isn’t exactly going viral. But there’s an important lesson to be learned when things don’t go to plan as well: activism can teach you how to be adaptable. That means thinking on your feet, having a plan B, and staying positive.