I am still not fully caught up on my Dubai blogs but due to popular requests I will take a detour and blog about my job search thus far. As most of you many know by now I am a recent grad seeking opportunities in the development and humanitarian field. I am based in New York but willing to do field work in East Africa and certain parts of West Africa. Having been to Tanzania it is my top choice ,however I am open to other countries.
I began my job search about mid-June and have sent out just over 100 applications so far. I’ve been surprised with the number of postings that I’ve come across but in reality I know many of them have been filled before they were even posted. August was the roughest month mainly because most people were on vacation or a lot of positions were already filled. The beginning of September was also rough but I started to receive feedback towards the end of the month.
The past two weeks have been the most positive weeks. I made it to the second round and even received a from a great campaign .however, due to logistics and location I was unable to accept the offer. Nonetheless, I was elated to receive the offer and to be making progress.
I have had a few people ask why do I not take advantage of my connections or work at places where I have interned or the fact that I am from a third world country. However, there are myths surrounding these questions that need to be debunked. Even though I have had a number of prestigious internships and have gained very meaningful experience, I have found that I have no desire to work at some of these places. Another hurdle is that many of these places do not have entry-level vacancies or positions. They usually only have basic administrative intern work or mid-career positions that require 5-7 years experience. Furthermore, as a native of Guyana I am always asked why do I not try to repatriate. I am currently unable to do so for a variety of reasons. Firstly, there is not much development work to be done in Guyana as there are not a lot of NGOs working down there. Secondly, most of the available work is political and while I did receive my first degree in political science that is simply not what I want to do at this point of my life. My family on the other hand is very politically involved and connected to the new government, most of the positions are voluntarily or better suited for someone who has many years of experience under their belt. Lastly, the salaries are based on Guyanese standards and are $500-1,000 per month which as an Expat would not be enough. When considering positions I have to take into account the cost of living along with my educational expenses. So unfortunately, I am currently unable to consider volunteer or jobs that pay based on those local standards. This is a bit unfortunate as I would love to explore some of these opportunities but later in life once I am established I will definitely look into them.
Even though the job search can be very time consuming and agitating at times, I am trying to remain in good spirits. October and November will be very interesting since I have a few opportunities lined up and have been receiving better feedback. I am currently employed by an organization focusing on relief work ,however, this is temporary and part-time. My initial contract expired in August but I was approached to extend it until December or whenever I accept an offer. While it is a good position at a great organization with great people I do believe it will be time for me to move on and transition into a new position once my contract expires in December.
I am grateful that I do have employment while I job search as it allows me some flexibility it finding the right position. There is no desperation to accept a terrible offer just because it is being offered. But I am progressively becoming more open and to an array of opportunities and not only focusing on my dream organizations. My goal is to find the fight offer by December and begin in January but it is possible that this may be sooner.
Good luck to all my fellow bloggers and followers who are currently on the prowl for a career job. If anyone has any questions or suggestions, please feel free to comment or reach out.