You could be a student eager to expand your horizon, a professional or business person looking for the next line of activity to step up your game – do not hesitate to take advantage of openings and opportunities in different parts of the world. Many sites across the web provide great resources on these openings depending on what you are cut-out for. Especially for young people, it is important you explore these opportunities as much as you can; some of the reasons below will explain why this is crucial in contemporary times:
1. Build your Resume
Participating in a couple of open competitions of any description is a great way to stand out from the crowd and build your resume. If you are passionate about a subject that is outside your major area of expertise, these competitions can help you show off these additional strands of your knowledge and interests. If you are a medical doctor passionate about environmental sustainability or an artist deeply committed to human rights, find those competitions and compete!
Do not be put off by a lack of formal qualifications. Your determined interest can get you a long way, not just in competitions, but in life more generally. Showing the breadth of your skills sets will really help you to differentiate yourself positively.
2. Connect with top employers
Big organizations and top employers are known to organize competitions and challenges. This provides a sustained opportunity for prospects to connect with top employers that are otherwise difficult to reach. In a setting that puts you and your skills in the spotlight, regardless of your formal educational background, if you have an opportunity to create a positive impression.
Traditional job application channels in these companies are based mostly on the level of academic excellence, which may not show all your talents and skill sets deemed valuable to the organization. If you get invited to some finals, you may have the chance to network with members of senior management in person. With these competitions, you could make a whole world of difference.
3. Challenge yourself
At these competitions, you benefit from the opportunity to challenge yourself. You will learn new things and develop new skills – and even if you don’t win, you can show what you gained from the experience, and talk about this to your credit. Some people who have difficulty succeeding in formal school systems but have a much better experience competing in solving real cases and problems.
The rewards of these competitions, whether tangible or otherwise, can help you achieve your educational and professional goals. You might win an internship that leads to the job of your dreams or some money that could help to start your own business.
4. Learn from and Connect to a good Network
Most of these competitions are organized by respectable individuals and organizations within their industry. Participation more often than not, will get every opportunity to rub shoulders and share fellowship with some of these people. They will encourage you, challenge you and ultimately, elevate you.
What if you do not win the competitions you enter? Remember, this is not time wasted; it is time spent learning and growing. The platforms provide an enriching and stimulating experience that allows you to apply your knowledge to a specific, practical problem.
5. Put your ideas to action
Also importantly, these competitions allow you see how viable your ideas can be as you collect and incorporate feedback from peers and professionals. If you are committed to realizing your dreams, any time spent on fine-tuning your ideas is a time well spent.
If you are planning on starting a business but need capital, there are competitions where you can win startup funding for your business. Good examples are the RICE Business Plan Competition and the Global Social Venture Competition.
If you are running a worthwhile project, there are many award programs available that support your ideas, such as the Rolex Awards for Enterprise, Cartier Women’s Initiative Awards and the Dell Education Challenge.
There is a competition for everyone and if you don’t win this time, just enter again. The more you participate, the better you get!