Interested in a job in international development but don’t quite know where to start? Devex Director of Global Recruitment Services Kate Warren has a few tips for those looking for their first job in the field.
Her first tip is to volunteer overseas in order to gain some experience on your own before launching into the job market. The ability to work hands-on and make connections while making the best of your experience is incredibly helpful in advancing your resume in the international development job market. Picking a country to just move to and start volunteering in is also an option, but it is important to “make yourself indispensable” as a volunteer so you have a greater chance of being hired onto paid staff. Starting at home is possible as well for those that want to help manage programs without being sent into the field – this experience would cut costs for the organization as well as provide valuable experience.
In terms of choosing a starting organization, Kate encourages those looking for entry-level positions to be flexible, and not to focus solely on the most well-known places in the international development field. It is important to keep an open mind and look at smaller organizations as well, because in the end they give the same experience as the larger organizations.
It is most important to realize that getting a first job in any field is difficult, and will not happen without significant effort. With hard work and dedication, however, you can be on your way to finding your dream job in development.
– Sarah Rybak