• Fernando Zacarias

Waiting, Fishing, or Hunting

Dear Multipodian:

Here are some considerations about looking for a job:

Waiting for something to happen is only helpful if you are the child or political protegé of an all-important and powerful person, or if you are so good and great that people are waiting for you to graduate, plan to steal you from your current job, or want to recruit you “no matter what”. This happens very seldom.

If you are fishing, you cast your net to catch available positions that may fit you. Alternatively, you cast your line and bait (resumé) and hope that some fish (organizations) bite and ask you to provide additional documents or come in for an interview. This is a somewhat passive approach that may work but requires lots of patience and the ability to withstand frustration and plenty of rejections.

However, I strongly suggest that you choose hunting if you want to catch your desired prey (dream job). Here are some steps and ideas that will help you find and catch your organization:

1) Identify no more than 15-20 organizations, agencies, NGOs, etc. in the public and private sectors internationally and/or in the countries or regions that you really really want.

2) Investigate as much as you can about the structure and functions of these organizations (i.e. location, size, mission, purpose, leadership, staff, activities, projects, annual reports, countries in which they work, etc.)

3) Of course, if there are staff vacancies in some of them, this is great, but it shouldn't be necessarily the most important or only criterion for selection (you may be able to start as a consultant)

4) Also, it is very helpful if you know somebody in the organization, to explore their degree of happiness and satisfaction within the culture and the work environment of the institution; in other words, get insider’s information.

5) Multilateral organizations, especially UN agencies offer few possibilities of work except unpaid internships or entry-point and low-level and usually temporary positions with only slight opportunities for permanent employment or advancement (but they are very valuable for your resumé). Don’t give up, though, and keep trying. They always need consultants.

6) Try to "follow the money" by investigating "who is who" in the global initiatives expiring in 2030: Universal Health Coverage, Neglected Diseases. HIV, Sustainable Development Goals, and others. These initiatives have the political commitment of more than 180 countries, and implementing agencies and governments have financial resources (and need human resources) to fulfill their goals. Look at “Resources” in www.multipodmentoring.com

Well, you now have a good number of agencies to choose from and can move to the next post.

Thank you for reading this; comment if you wish, DZ


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