Are Humanitarian, International Development & Eco Paid Jobs Too Competitive Nowadays?

Creative Commons License photo credit: striatic

Is it possible that there are too many people wanting to do good with a meaningful job, but there are too few jobs to go around?

Yesterday, I talked about ways that you could get a job in the humanitarian, development, eco and charity fields. From the list, it seemed that it was not such an easy task. Well, in life most of the greatest and fulfilling things are challenging to get.

Finding a GOOD Job Can Be Difficult?

But it does seem like you may have to put in a few years of volunteering, interning and trying various kinds of jobs before you land yourself your dream job in any of those fields.

I’ve been volunteering for some time in Bangladesh with the UN World Food Programme. There was a low point when I was having trouble with my finances and my relationships when I felt that I should give up the whole volunteering gig in order to get a “real job.” I tried applying and applying for several jobs, but none of them replied back to me! I was really frustrated and stressed particularly since I know in my heart that I have really valuable skills to offer.

Even some of the friends that I have met here who have years and decades of experience in the humanitarian, international development and eco fields have told me about the challenges they have faced with finding a suitable paying job, that both fulfils their personal mission while giving them a sustainable livelihood.

4 Reasons Why I Think Jobs in These Sectors Are Becoming Overly Competitive

Here are some reasons why I think that finding jobs in these fields are becoming more competitive:

1. Decreased Organizational Budgets

Decreasing budgets of various humanitarian, development and eco organizations, as donors focus their money and effort on particular areas with the greatest social return on investment. Organizations, especially those with fledgling budgets, are forced to become more lean, thus increasing the competition for the few jobs available.

2. The Dilemma of Unpaid Interns & Volunteers

Decreasing supply of paid jobs as organizations make more use of unpaid interns and volunteers. I agree that volunteering and interning are important, but there are consequences by having too much of it. Paid jobs in the humanitarian, international development and the eco fields thus become more competitive as there are less of them.

3. Importance of Local Capacity Building

Increased focus on giving jobs to local people. This means that international job prospects diminish as organizations focus on ensuring sustainability in local communities. This is not necessarily a bad thing, and I support sustainable operations. However, I think it does contribute to the increased competitiveness of workers who want to work abroad, particularly in developing countries.

4. Your Job Is Not Supposed to Exist in the Future

I personally believe that the whole purpose of helping others is to make it sustainable, particularly when you are working with people. Through your contribution to others, the programs must then become self sustainable or the problem completely solved so that your help will no longer be needed at all. I think that the purpose of the jobs in the humanitarian, international development and eco fields is NOT to make communities overly dependent on you. Rather the goal is to make your job obsolete.

When your job becomes obsolete and when your organization is no longer neeeded, it may mean that the organization already succeeded in its mission or that the organization needs to change in accordance with changing circumstances and priorities.

My Frustration & Annoyanace at the Competitiveness of Getting a Job To Do Good

Creative Commons License photo credit: striatic

For me, I began to realize that I didn’t like having to keep applying to organizations that would reject me ongoingly. I was really annoyed to tell you the truth. I was starting to feel like I couldn’t achieve my personal mission in life to change the world if I continued to wait for organizations to say that I’m good enough. In the end, I decided I wanted to pave my own trail. This is one of the major events that actually influenced me to get into social entrepreneurship.

Can you relate to this?

What You Can Do About It

If so, consider learning more about social entrepreneurship so that you can create your own organization that achieves your personal mission to change the world, without having to wait for others to say that you’re good enough to do it.