4 Tips For Getting a Job in the Humanitarian, Development & Charity Fields
It is my chief aim to use this website as a platform to encourage people to help other people and to change the world.
Do You Have a Passion for Changing the World?
Ever since I was a young kid, I’ve been wanting to help people. Actually, I had found a speech that I wrote when I was ten years old, which said that I dream of a peaceful world where everyone takes responsibility for themselves and each other because everyone is and can be a leader.
HA! Kids and their dreams. =)
Idealistic Dreams as a Kid
It’s funny though, that when I re-read that speech as an adult I was awestruck when I realized that even now I have been wanting to encourage people to make a difference in the world.
I wonder what you dreamt of becoming when you were a kid? What did you dare to dream for our world?
Serious Jobs for Serious Adults?
Kids have a knack for being idealistic. As an adult, however, you can go beyond just being idealistic. You have the power to take responsibility of your life and your choices, so that your ideals and values can become a practical reality.
Finding Meaning Work
Many people want to find a meaningful job because you spend 40 or more hours a week on your job. Not only that, you’ll spend about 40 or more years of your life working. Therefore, shouldn’t your daily actions at work reflect the meaning and purpose of your life as a whole?
If you’ve ever wanted to help people and wanted that to be a part of your daily actions, but you don’t know where to start, you could work for an organization that has a social mission.
If you are uncertain how to find and get a job that has meaningful work, then try doing any of these:
I believe that volunteerism is important. It doesn’t cost you money. All you need to spend is your time. I’ve actually been a volunteer myself for close to two years now with the United Nations World Food Programme in Bangladesh. I’ll be finishing up soon, and I can tell you that volunteering certainly has its merits. You gain experience, you can offer your skills, and you also meet great people along the way. For those who want to try out volunteering, I suggest you volunteer for an organization that resonates with you.
You could volunteer on the weekends or in your spare time. Or if you’re crazy like me, you can dedicate yourself to volunteering for an organization for an extended period of time to really understand the issues and to provide durable long term solutions.
You could also intern. Many internships are also unpaid particularly for organizations in the humanitarian, environmental, development and charity fields. However, they’re slightly different from a volunteer position. I’ve also interned in my life for organizations such as UNESCO and the Commission on Human Rights in the Philippines.
Internships are mainly targeted for recent college graduates and current university students. Internships tend to provide an insight into the working environment for a student so that it helps them get a feel for what it’s like working for a certain organization. Some internships may actually lead to employment after, especially if the organization is in need for new talent and you demonstrated excellence while you were there.
3) Expand Your Job Prospects
While I was studying at university, one of my main goals was to be an international human rights lawyer. After some time interning, I realized I didn’t want to do that anymore. I wanted to be a humanitarian. While volunteering overseas as a humanitarian, I began tapping back into some of my other passions such as writing and computing, and now I’m also a blogger as seen in this very blog. Now, I actually want to try other projects and tap into some of my other skills.
Overall I have realized that some of the original jobs and goals that you set out to achieve may change as you gain more experience. I have concluded that sometimes the jobs that you wanted may not be available or too competitive or it may not be what you actually want or need after all.
The humanitarian, development and charity fields are always changing because of the changing needs of society and the world. Often, if you feel like you’re not getting hired by some of the organizations you applied for, you could try something new – some kind of job that you weren’t originally thinking. You may not be able to change the recruitment processes of organizations, but you can change yourself. You can change your plans and your job focus.
4) Create Your Own “Job”
If you’ve tried the 3 tips above and you still have a hard time finding a job, I suggest you create one. I agree that the humanitarian, environmental, and charity sectors can be competitive. Many people want to do these kinds of meaningful work, but there just aren’t enough jobs to go around. I have faced this challenge myself. There was a time recently when I tried to apply and apply for jobs all over the world. None of them replied to my email, even though I had years of volunteer, intern and working experience in a numebr of countries. It can be so frustrating and stressful! It’s tough when organizations reply with a “No” response, but it’s even worse when they don’t reply at all because you’re simply left hanging.
Are you fed up with having to rely on organizations to determine whether you’re good enough to make a difference? Throughout my blog, I have asserted that everyone is good enough to change the world. This website is about social entrepreneurship, so this website is certainly for those people out there who feel like they have been rejected or overwhelmed by the lack of job opportunities out there for meaningful work.
While many organizations have a great mission, there may be times when you will be let down by them because you are not hired by them. It’s in these instances that I suggest that you find and create the opportunities yourself. You still can help others and change the world.
You’ll just have to start your very own social enterprise. It may be a little challenging at first, but at least you’ll be doing what you love, helping others, and making a difference without anyone else telling you that you can’t do it.
My website has the resources to help you along the social entrepreneurship journey.