first job advice needed

Submitted by blueberry77 on March 1, 2010 - 4:21pm.

I'm looking for my first job as an aid worker. I've worked in charity fundraising for two years - one year with an international development organisation. Can anyone offer advice on how I can make the transistion from office to field? Are any of the skills and knowledge I've built up in fundraising transferable to a position in the field? What new skills should I look at aquiring? Thanks!

Submitted by myraidgoups on March 2, 2010 - 3:51am.

What is your background? Studies? Experience? Skills?

It is important to know what you can offer, and whether that fits with what aid organisations are looking for. However, I must say that at first sight the fit between charity fund raising and a field career in aid work does not look promising.

Cheers,
Michael
-------------
A humourless lot: http://www.michaelkeizer.com
LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelkeizer

Submitted by gagan nagar on April 14, 2011 - 8:20am.

There are many questions employers cannot ask an employee. If confronted with any of these, or if you simply do not want to answer a personal or awkward question simply say, "Please explain to me how this question applies to the position." Usually the interviewer will change the question. However you do not have to answer any questions that make you uncomfortable.

Typical illegal questions include:

* How old are you?
* Where were you born?
* Do you hold a citizenship in other countries?
* What is your medical history?
* What is your religious affiliation?
* Do you have children?
* Have you ever changed your name?
* Have you ever been arrested?
* What holidays to you celebrate?
* Do you have a disability?
* Do you have a history of substance or alcohol abuse?
* Does your spouse work and where?
* Have you ever declared bankruptcy?

The article above was written by senior construction recruiter Frederick Hornberger, CPC, president of Hornberger Management Company in Wilmington, Delaware, construction recruiters providing construction recruitment and construction recruiting services on construction jobs.
Employee Recruiting : Our employee recruiting solution helps HR managers reduce costs by accurately determining where their recruiting dollars are most productively spent.

Copy Editor : Professional copy editing service. Elite Editing & Tutoring offers meticulous proofreading and copy editing to powerfully enhance your written work. Our highly qualified copy editors will edit your document to present it in the best possible way.

Submitted by blueberry77 on March 2, 2010 - 12:58pm.

Hi Michael,

My background is in the social sciences. I have about 6 months experience working in a developing country, a year studying in a developing country and 3 years working in the middle east.

My skills are research, communication, writing and reporting, people skills and project management. I have basic logisitcs experience from a voluntary role but not in a developing country context.... can you offer any insight into whether these skills would be transferable to a position in the field? If not, to work in project management or logisitcs in an aid context, what experience and skills should I be looking to develop?

Thanks. Any advice is hugely appreciated!

Submitted by myraidgoups on March 2, 2010 - 1:55pm.

Sorry to be a bit nosy, but I need to know a bit more to be able to give you more tailored advice than the general recommendations.

What sort of work did you do in the developing world? And in the ME? Can you be a bit more explicit about your logistics experience? Language skills?

Cheers,
Michael

-------------
A Humourless Lot: http://www.michaelkeizer.com/humourless/
A Humourless Lot on Facebook: http://fb.me/pages/A-Humourless-Lot/272130768348
LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelkeizer

Submitted by blueberry77 on March 6, 2010 - 6:06pm.

Hi Michael,

I worked in an orphanage in Peru for six months, teaching English and other subjects like art. I've also worked in Saudi Arabia in an airport as a check-in agent for three years, but don't actually speak Arabic. I worked with people from all over the world, so I guess being able to work in multi-cultural environments is my strength. I do speak some Chinese.

On the logisitcs side it's all been voluntary - organising the logistics for fundraisng events.

I realise that I don't have any skills directly related to working as an aid worker but I'm hoping you might be able to tell me which skills would be transferable to a position in the field and which skills I should look at aquiring.

Thanks - any advice is appreciated!

Submitted by myraidgoups on March 7, 2010 - 1:42am.

To be blunt: I am not very optimistic about your chances. Your skills are fairly common, and you don't offer any specific skill or knwoledge that is in high demand in the aid world. About the only thing that counts on your side is your multicultural experience.

This is probably the time when you need to think about how badly you really want to work in aid. If the answer is, "I am not sure", or even "I would like to, but not badly enough to first invest a couple of more years before I have a chance", than I would recommend that you do not bother.

However, if the answer is, "I want to do this really, really badly, and I feel that my life would be a failure if I wouldn't be able to do this" (or any slightly less extreme edition of this), than this is probably the best way to go about it:

  1. Have a good look at the sort of positions at entry level that are current in aid. Think hard of which of these sort of jobs appeals most to you. Be specific: not e.g. "a field job in communications", but "field communications officer for an organisation in emergency medical aid."
  2. See what sort of knowledge, skills, qualifications, experience are necessary for this sort of job. Again, be specific: not "a degree in communications and some experience", but "a master's degree in business communication, at least two years of experience in business communications in the non-profit sector, a good understanding of the aid sector, basic knowledge of the organisation of emergency medical aid in developing countries, knowledge of at least one second language at intermediate or proficient level (preferably French, Spanish, or Arabic)". Note that this is just an example that I made up on the spot -- I have no clue whether this are realistic requirements for such a position -- just to illustrate the level of detail. This is the step which the AWN community can be most helpful to you, but only after you have gone through step 1.
  3. Gain the knowledge, skills, qualifications, experience that you identified in the previous step. In the mean time, work hard on your network in the sector in which you want to work (in the example: emergency medical aid).
  4. I am aware that this looks daunting and a bit bleak, but I think you are better helped by a realistic view than with an overly optimistic one that will keep you banging on closed doors for the foreseeable future.

    All the best,
    Michael

    -------------
    A Humourless Lot: http://www.michaelkeizer.com/humourless/
    A Humourless Lot on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/pages/A-Humourless-Lot/272130768348
    LinkedIn profile: http://www.linkedin.com/in/michaelkeizer

Submitted by ariakerry on August 8, 2010 - 5:11am.

My skills are research, communication, writing and reporting, people skills and project management. I have basic logisitcs experience from a voluntary role but not in a developing country context.
online website design | web design | realsoft

Submitted by Dr Bryan Walker on March 15, 2010 - 1:45pm.

Dr Bryan Walker
Thailand
Please look at the Guide which can be downloaded from our new website. It is based on decades of humanitarian experience and covers all the main issues you confront to getting started, getting in and getting on in your first post. www.VoluntaryHumanitarianWork.com. The first edition helped thousands of potential and actual humanitarians.
Bryan

Submitted by umakant on January 13, 2011 - 9:37am.

Boston Vapes offers herb, heat gun, silver surfer and tobacco vaporizers in reasonable prices. We provide vaporizers, parts, grinders, pollen presses and cleaning solutions with utmost quality.

Submitted by umakant on February 2, 2011 - 1:52pm.

SEO Tips : Starwebworld, is an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) blog. This is providing the latest SEO tips and News.

Best SEO Company India : Starwebworld, is an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) blog. This is providing the latest SEO tips and News.

SEO Tips : Starwebworld, is an Search Engine Optimization (SEO) blog. This is providing the latest SEO tips and News.

Comment viewing options

Select your preferred way to display the comments and click "Save settings" to activate your changes.