Feeling a little altruistic lately? “A little” won’t be good enough if you are actually looking forward to developing a career in the relief and development sector. If you are really into the building a career there, you have be sure that you are REALLY into it.
The first step is to get prepared for the amount of patience and perseverance it requires.
Can you imagine yourself camping in a desert that is miles away from anything resembling a city? How about being in the middle of an international disaster, like an earthquake or a tsunami, to help out the victims?
Yes, that is exactly the amount of patience this job will require and you need to buckle up before you fly off to another war, disease, or disaster-ridden piece of land.
Here are some tips on what it takes to make a career in the development sector:
Get the Right Qualifications: Bear in mind that this a very difficult sector to get into. You won’t just get in because you have a lot passion for helping the needy. No doubt, passion is required to be persistent in the field. However, breaking into the NGO world is not as easy as it may seem,
especially if you are looking forward to becomubg an international aid worker. Many people get in based on their “connections” but not everyone has those.
A master’s degree is a must. A Master’s qualification in something like “International Relations”,
“Development Studies” or “Global Citizenship’s Human’s Rights” is sure to get you started on this career path.
Do an Internship or Some Volunteer Work:
You Master’s qualification won’t be as impressive on your CV without some experience.
Not all of these internships are paid, but then you’re in for the philanthropic benefits right? A lot of people may find that very un-attractive, but I’d say these people don’t belong in the development sector at all if that’s the case.
Work on a Specific Skill: What makes you
different from another development sector worker? You need to think about that before you get started. Are you familiar with medicine and would make you a good doctor
or a nurse?
Are you good with the finances? Make sure you have point of differentiation.
Develop a proposal: You might believe that an international aid worker is constantly changing locations and can be anywhere at any time. This is not always true. Many international aid workers first try to develop an understanding of the place they want to work. They head off to the location they are interested in and get to know the environment first. This is a more tactful
way to discovering your ideal job in the development sector as it reduces the burden on the agency to find you the work that fits you.
Idealist.com is a great website that can help match you interests with the kind of organization you should be working with.
Take the Jump: Finally with something in mind, go ahead and take a leap of faith. First start small and then work your way up. Also be ready for all sorts of adventures the agencies may put you through. Work in the development sector can be unexpected. But that’s where some of the best opportunities lie.
Be flexible and be ready to take almost any assignment you are offered. That’s the kind of that attitude will get you far in this sector.
Also, remember to be VERY humble. People in the humanitarian world won’t care if you have graduated from prestigious school and come worked for the best organization in the world. Have humility – a lot of it – and be prepared for wherever this purely humanitarian quality takes you.
Anais John is a career consultant who loves to share her expertise on leadership program, career growth and entrepreneurship. Apart from counseling, she also offers Essay writing at essay mall