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There are many rewards of working in global development; you will have the opportunity to make a difference, and in most cases you also get paid for doing it, sometimes even good money. But what about the challenges? Hiring a professional coach with experience from working within the sector implies that you will have someone impartial to discuss your career with.
Find the strengths in your career profile
Hiring a coach means that you can work jointly to find the experiences and skills in your career profile that is most suited for the jobs you are applying for. The magic happens when you work together and set up a realistic plan for a meaningful and rewarding career suited to your profile.
Makes you job search more effective
Many job seekers find it frustrating that they spend so much time on the application process without getting feedback from the organizations for which they are applying for. How can you improve if you don’t know what you are doing wrong? A good coach knows the ins and outs of the sector and can provide you with great insights and career advice before you click on the submit button. This will make your job search more effective.
Here are a seven expert tips from our coach Antonio Fidalgo to think about when you decide to join an international development organization.
1. Find the right work-life balance
The international development sector is a world in itself with thousands of organizations across the globe with differing mandates, sizes, operations, and outcomes. Many of them have operations in conflict zones where families cannot go. This, not only makes the decision to which company to join overwhelming, but also, creates a bigger challenge to finding the right balance between personal satisfaction, financial compensation, and flexibility to enjoy a private life. It is very important to have clear career objectives in order to narrow down your search. A career coach with experience in the sector will help you determine what your real goals are and how you can achieve them in the sector.
2. Translate your experiences and background to fit the development sector
It becomes crucial to understand what aspects of one's experience and background can be translated in development/humanitarian terms so that to increase your chances to be considered in the selection process.
3. Finding your optimal career path
Career tracks also vary greatly across organizations and they may not be so well delineated and require some structured thinking in order for you to reach your goals. The sector has many sub sectors and functions that it can be also difficult for job seekers to figure out an optimal career path.
4. Interpret rules and regulations / Eligibility
The recruitment process tends to be very specific in terms of its requirements and the success factors differs across companies and certainly from the private sector. International Development organizations have very particular rules and regulations when it comes to eligibility to apply. Understanding these rules and regulations can help you target which jobs to apply by narrowing down the search.
5.Help determine your salary level
Their salary structure of International organizations is very specific, integrating many components depending on the operation, grade, and type of work. The coach can guide you to sort all that out.
6. Boost your resume/CV
The competencies and skills you highlight in your CV may be disconnected from the ones valued by the development sector. The power of your resume will depend on how well you can communicate the transferability of your experience and background to the development sector. Given that your resume may be the only communication from you that will generate interest, it better be strong enough to get you an interview.
7. Finding the right value of your expertise and experiences
You may not know your own potential. This is possibly the biggest reason to use a career coach. You may have some blind spots about your capabilities which may go beyond what you learned in your last couple of jobs. You may not realize the value some of your experiences which were not considered useful in the private sector but, may be crucial in the development sector.
For all these reasons, getting a coach may be a very smart career move. An experienced career coach with a background in international development can help to identify and explain your many options and help you start positioning yourself as a potential candidate for the sector. While it seems at first an easy task, it requires a deep understanding of the dynamics of different development agencies, job functions, hardship locations and its implications, recruitment criteria and eligibility, so that to project yourself into the possibilities and challenges of the sector, and to make an informed connection between your personal and career goals.