That’s one of the timeless questions in leading a global development career. Having a good process to prepare can make the difference between your being stuck in roles you have long out grown—being ready to new opportunities whenever you want.
In my first job in the UN system, the department I worked in underwent what they called a “functional review”.
The idea was that the “functions” of core positions needed to get reviewed and mapped against new ideas.
This many years later, I still don’t fully know what the catalyst for the functional review was. I think it had to do with bigger institutional changes and the interest senior managers may have had to get rid of old staff and bring in some new ones. (That didn’t really happen in the end, but at least one senior up got put out to pasture.)
Now, the functional review resulted in a months-long process: ToRs (terms of reference, or job descriptions) for all FTA (fixed-term appointment) contract holders had to be reviewed, updated, readvertised, interview shortlists created, interviews scheduled, and offers made.
What this meant in practice was everyone had to interview for their jobs again.
Just starting out in my career, I was appointed as the note taker and interview report writer for all 24 jobs. At first, I was disappointed as I wanted to focus technical work and analysis of development statistics. But this experience proved to be one of the most powerful I’ve had in my career.
Each role had a minimum of 3 people interviewed, which means over the course of a few weeks, I was a fly on the wall for well over 70 interviews.
Here’s what few with this experience ever share about applying to top global development jobs.
There is a HUGE problem when it comes to development sector work nobody talks about.
It comes disguised as good intentions.
And the people involved are smart and experienced.
But this problem blocks entire careers from reaching their full potential.
So what is it?
It seems like there are a gazillion websites, Facebook groups, or email lists offering you one thing:
Direct access to job listings.
With so much out there, where should you focus your attention?
Today, I use just a few websites depending on what I’m interested in—or where I want to work.
In this video, I break down how each of these work—and how you can stop wasting time checking dozens of organization job portals everyday!
Follow us for new videos on our YouTube channel!
What are your go-to job and work opportunity websites?
My the world has changed since I last posted.
We’ve all learned the name of the novel coronavirus. We have been asked to follow new social distancing measures and travel restrictions for ourselves, our families and our communities. And those of us who can work from home are doing so, often for the first time, and many of us unable to, have lost their jobs.
Given all that is going on, how will COVID-19 change the international development sector?
It’s definitely too early to know all the implications.
But here is what we know a few weeks in.
At my birthday dinner last month with my family, I received a buzz on my phone.
This was rare for a Saturday evening, so I took a break from dinner to check my phone to see what it was.
I was offered a consultancy for a UN agency.
That was a nice way to cap off my birthday celebrations.
As part of my work for this new consultancy, I reviewed 60 applications received for 6-8 open opportunities last week.
Here’s what I learned.