February 11, 2011


I was thinking about the tendency of FORCED volunteering, which is happening every day for the three most vulnerable layers of our populations: foreign-trained professionals, middle-aged career changers and generation Y recent graduates of high or post-secondary schools. They have all been advised that starting volunteering is the gateway into their dream jobs, networking, getting desirable skills etc. In my opinion, this is a type of exploitation of people's desperate situations - to me it would be more honest to advocate for these people and create the type of contracts that permit them to stay in the company, after a particular "on-the-job training", for at least one or two years (similar to the existing wage-subsidy contracts). Working for less money (possibly), but in their own professional fields, they should have enough time to prove their talents and commitment to the profession. I am going to work on this idea for my clients - to me the whole volunteering idea is mixed up in this economy. I cannot imagine people working for free, when they do not have enough money to put food on the table for their family; we push them out of their comfort zone, creating an environment, where they're  desperate and vulnerable to all sorts of scams .

Do not get me wrong - I am a life-long volunteer myself - I also donate my money to the projects, which seem to improve the quality of people's life. However, I would never judge any unemployed guy or gal who prefers working double shifts on low-income jobs to volunteering for their favorite causes.
I would do everything to help my clients stay who they are and resolve this problem.I would talk openly about this "volunteering" tendency and negotiating better solutions with prospective employers on clients' behalf! I would make a proposal to our governments of all levels to stand behind those types of contracts and invest into or subsidize an existing talent pool. In turn, it will help balance the labour flow, will make us competitive on the world scale and will bring benefits to our society as a whole!

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