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Adrian Guțu from Rotunda village, Edineț district is 22 years old. He graduated from the Balți Polytechnic College and now works as an IT administrator in a company with foreign capital from the town. He began to work formally at the age of 18, thus being the youngest employee in the company.

It sounds like a typical story about a young man with ambitions who managed to find his first job, to successfully integrate into the team and to grow professionally. However, in fact there is an important life lesson behind this story, namely that of volunteering which changed him considerably.

First steps in volunteering

He got a taste of volunteering purely by chance. It happened in 2012, when Adrian was only in 6th grade. At that time, representatives of an NGO visited school he attended and introduced the concept of volunteering to the pupils. He did not know exactly what it was about, how it worked, but he thought it was a curious thing and did not hesitate too long before deciding to get involved. That’s how his adventure into the world of volunteering began. Together with other colleagues, he went to the older people in the locality and helped them with household chores, brought them food packages and talked to them for a while. Seeing the gratitude in the eyes of the older people, he understood that his efforts were valuable and that society needed his and young people’s involvement.

After various actions, trainings, a lot of communication and more and more involvement, from a shy child Adrian became a sociable, organised young man, able to take decisions, to handle different situations and to find solutions when necessary.

While Adrian sought how he could be useful to the community, some of his peers tasted all the temptations of adolescence: alcohol, drugs, smoking, unhealthy lifestyle. Instead, Adrian chose to follow advices from the course ‘Decisions for a healthy lifestyle’. He made his choice immediately because he understood that investment in own health meant investment in the future.

School taught him healthy life skills

He was not alone in this journey. He was guided and encouraged by his course teacher, Tatiana Chilaru. Besides the useful information received during the course, the volunteering activities helped Adrian avoid the risky behaviours his peers were engaged in. Adrian tells that he has chosen to spend and continues to spend his free time in healthy environments with young people who focus on development. Today, years later, he sees the difference between himself and his peers who didn’t believe in the power of volunteering and refused to get involved.

 ‘Not all my colleagues volunteered. I tried to involve some of them, who subsequently became my friends. I can say that many of those who didn’t get involved lack motivation, have low standards of living, basically what society imposed on them. Some have entered the comfort zone and don’t want to change anything in life, to grow, they wait for someone to make the change for them. Things change fast and we must keep up with them’.

After graduating from secondary school, Adrian went to college. He didn’t give up volunteering for a single day. In parallel with studies, he volunteered at the ‘Service for Peace’ from Bălți and ‘Wings of Life’ NGO from Edineț, which was created with Adrian’s help during his last academic year. Each time, he actively involved and brought smiles on people’s faces, without waiting for financial reward.

So, little by little, with a strong will and healthy life skills, the road to a successful career was considerably shortened. At work, colleagues and employer appreciate him. Adrian says that an administrator needs multiple skills such as creativity, socialisation and, of course, responsibility.

‘Thanks to perseverance and self-confidence – qualities I gained during volunteering, I presented myself well at the job interview and ... I was accepted. I am often asked how I managed to accumulate work experience at such a young age, and I would like to say that it was due to volunteering. At the same time, being employed, I didn't hesitate to do many activities as a volunteer. Thus, I learned useful things, which facilitated my professional advancement, management of big projects and my personal development, and currently I hold a position where several employees are my subordinates’.

Businessman at only 22 years of age

Adrian Gutu recently launched his own business. He owns a company providing photo-video services. His clients include both national and international organisations. Adrian says he had this hobby since his early childhood, but he didn’t have the opportunity to test his skills. This is where volunteering came in handy to him. Being involved in various actions, Adrian had the opportunity to develop this passion. Each time, at different events, he took photos of the participants and afterwards they came with suggestions and comments. In 2017, being inherently curious, he started to film and edit videos to attract the interest of young people during the events. This earned him a nomination for the ‘Volunteer Gala’ and the first place for promoting volunteering in the Republic of Moldova.

‘Much of what I have today is due to involvement. I’ve gained skills needed for both everyday life and career. I have become much more communicative than before volunteering, I have made a number of friends. There was no pecuniary reward, as many people expect, but it was in form of educational trainings. We discussed the most important topics in the country and identified solutions together with speakers during these trainings’.

Adrian urges young people to follow his example

 If he would go back 10 years, Adrian says he would do the same. How did volunteering help him get a job and grow professionally? It is simple. He gained the necessary experience through volunteering, which is often required by employers at the job interview stage. That’s why he suggests young people to volunteer because currently every company requires experience and this practical activity is the solution. That’s how you will find your place in life, he adds.

‘The transition from adolescence to adulthood is a formality. The society doesn’t prepare us to become adults. When we become adults, we need more life skills and there is no other way to develop them than by getting involved in volunteering activities. My advice to young people is to get actively involved in social life and to constantly share their ideas’.