It’s true that the first day of anything is always the hardest. Like the first day at school/uni, or the first day in a new city, or the first day on the road to somewhere- recover, treatment, a choice that will change your life- or your first day at a new job. All these times can be a ride of emotions, uncertains, difficult questions, loss of faith, and life choices. Well, today I officially started a new job and I experienced everything listed above.
I’m working as a street fundraiser for the Friends of the Earth (FOE) charity. And that is possibly one of the most difficult jobs anyone could do. In a way you’d think it was easy enough. Go up to people and ask them to sign up to donate money for the charity and to support the campaigns to change things. But there’s a lot more to it then that. It’s all about personality, knowledge, enthusiasm and belief. No amount of training can prepare you for this trying job. The training I had, I didn’t feel was that inspiring for the step I was about to take. I don’t know if that was the way it was delivered or maybe it was just me and I didn’t take out of it all that I should have done.
Also, you’d think you might get more training then just a single day, but this is much more hands on focus training and getting the newbies out there. You can pick up a lot more this way and speaking to the other team members does help. However, I still struggled. I didn’t get anyone to sign up and though I got use to asking people, it was still hard getting them to stop and actual talk to you. It’s fine if people are in a hurry or don’t have the money, but today wasn’t about that, today was about getting people to actually talk to me and that was like mission impossible…..in fact if Tom Cruise showed up and did this job, imagine the number of people he’d get to sign up!!!
My problem at first was talking to people. There’s always that panic talking to the first person, but it does get easier after that and more easier after twenty or so! But then it fell down to me just being unable to stop people and though I tried a number of things that my team members suggested, it didn’t work. Luckily, I wasn’t doing the same thing all day. The team leader had this idea about just getting me to find people to sign up for a campaign on cleaner energy and providing more renewable sources energy that fossil fuels. I made his target of five people, but it must have taken me….4/5 hours just to do that! Tomorrow, I really have to get someone to sign up. It’s important to prove I’ve what it takes to do this job.
Only issue is that I know deep down this job isn’t for me and it’s not what I want to do. I was a bit worried about this before, but now actually doing this it’s shown that my personality isn’t that suitable. Yeah, I can approach people, talk to them and give them all the facts, but I can’t get them enthusistic and inspired enough to sign up. It really takes a certain type of person to fundraise. You have to be very passionate and believe in the cause you are working for and transfer that to people. The bigger charities do have it easier as people know them and what to support them. For smaller charities like FOE, it’s harder because people don’t know and aren’t that interested. Saving the planet is more for superheroes and the plot of Science Fiction. It’s not in the heads of normal people, going about their business and getting on with their lives.
To be honest, my main issue with my job is that I believe that if people wanted to support a charity they would just go and do it. Yeah, making them aware of things can be useful, but if people were that interested then why are they not donating already? People don’t want to be stopped on the streets and questioned, they’ve got stuff to do, places to go, people to see….lives! But…. street fundraisers do a lot, lot more then people think some times….they get people thinking about things and people interested and gain peoples’ support and for some charities street fundraising is the highest source of income.
When I thought about this post, I decided that I wasn’t going to write in a persuasive manner and talk about what FOE does and the campaigns. I wasn’t going to go all out and try and win people over, because of a number of reasons and that’s mainly to do with the fact that I don’t want this blog to be like that and I don’t believe as I’ve said. However, as you’ve guessed by now I’ve had a lot of time to reflected on this and I wrote the next part of this in my diary before.
People are so locked in their own lives and it’s hard to reach out to them. Society really isn’t what it once was and now people don’t know their neighbours or close relatives. They are not interested in helping strangers and the world feels so much more closed down and isolated.
I like helping people and I like doing good things, but it’s hard sometimes and people do feel like they are being taken for a ride or else they are just blinded to things because of the mass-media and stuff. Changing people’s minds is very hard and it’s good when someone can fix things, but that someone isn’t going to be me in this case.
It might have only been my first day fundraising on the streets, but already I known deep down that it’s not for me. I’ve a bigger calling somewhere else, though no idea when that’ll come. It can take a lot of time with these things too and finding even a job at the minute is hard. But I shall be looking for one again and hoping that it’s the right one this time. I don’t know what is going to happen in the next few days and weeks. I’ve no idea when I shall either quit or be made too, but at least I can safely say that I’ve now tried it and it wasn’t for me.
And this is a picture of a honey bee. It’s not random….this is one of the campaigns FOE is running and it’s to save the bees who are currently dying out and we need them because honey is in everything and they are the best pollinators….every seen the Bee Movie? The world could look like that if the bees all die…..