The best advice I was given when looking to get into human rights was to volunteer as soon as possible in something that interests you. The skills you learn will be transferable to human rights or development.
Being in the places where the roles are available will ensure that you will meet the right people whilst staying informed about the sector. Securing employment or an internship is much more effective when your CV is handed directly to someone or placed directly onto a director’s desk instead of arriving to a full email inbox.
Adrian Enright, Global Coordinator (Climate Change Adaptation & Climate Smart Agriculture Program), SNV – Netherlands Development Organisation
In four years of working in development, I have not applied for a single position. I have always been approached by people working in the area who have then offered me positions which have then led to others. Investing in some ‘field time’ or volunteer work early on in your career path can be an excellent way to build these networks.
For people who aren’t studying and are maybe looking for a career change, don’t be afraid to take a demotion in order to enter a development role. Your previous experience will most likely allow you to progress quickly, even if you think you may be overqualified for the position.
The more I work towards attaining experience in the development sector, the more important my contacts and networks have become to me. I would say that networks are important, but demonstrating that you merit those contacts is also important.
I believe that every skill acquired, no matter the job… is a valuable skill, because all of them will teach you a little more about yourself; about which are your strengths, which are your best qualities, and most importantly, which are your weak areas that need improvement and dedication.
It is important to be aware of the advantages and disadvantages of this industry before committing to it and know at least where you stand on these issues. It is possible to have a career in this industry without living in war-zones, and if that’s what you want, then you need to know which path to take.
Moritz Meyer – Economist and Former Intern (International Labour Organisation and Asian Development Bank)
Networking can increase chances to progress in the sector. …Still, networking should always rely on credible achievements and credentials which support interest and skills relevant for the work in an international development organization. Name: Moritz Meyer Main country of residence: United States of America Current Position: EconomistOrganisation: The World Bank Qualifications: PhD economics Years of experience (development/overall): 4/6 LinkedIn…