Greatest learning experience doing miserable work
Service Member (Former Employee) – Baltimore, MD – March 28, 2016
Service Members in AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) lived together in teams of 8-10 people, travelling to do non-profit and service work as needed. Sometimes we built houses, sometimes we planted trees, sometimes we scrubbed floors, and sometimes we worked a front desk.
One of the greatest learning experiences was finding your own work-life balance, even when you live with your colleagues and sleep on the floor. You have one team leader on the team, and in this way you learn to be responsible for yourself and your own happiness while working independently but also building team skills. Communication is key and you learn the importance of professional relationships pretty quickly.
Almost monthly a team member would have the opportunity to be selected as Assistant Team Leader, which means they were quickly trained to help take over management duties and even become acting team leader in case of emergency or absence. In this way, each member got the chance to learn leadership skills.
The hardest part of the job was that it was a lot of labor, but also getting along with your colleagues while living with them; however one of the most rewarding experiences was finding common ground with your teammates, and building an almost family-type relationship with each other and learning to depend on one another. You never know just how important your coworkers will be to your job.
Plethora of experiences, travelling, honest work, great community, great service
living stipend below minimum wage, tough living conditions, high stress, isolation