This is part of our Careers That Include Travel continuing series, helping you get paid to travel while doing what you enjoy. Interested in other jobs for which travel is required? We have links at the end of this resource to other in-depth articles about travel work.
The posts in this series are written by persons who have served in the industry, no bs or fluff, and have genuinely lived the lifestyle. This one was written by Raphi, my friend. Taking it out …
As much it can seem like the realm of the fortunate few is one of the most irritating aspects about travel.
They almost always sigh and weep as I talk about traveling with friends that they wish they could do the same, too. And I can appreciate why, because something could seem pretty daunting.
Here’s a secret, though…
I have been around the world a lot of times and my family is bad.
And when I say bad, I mean, my parents wouldn’t be able to get 100 bucks together, and since I was 18, they haven’t given me any financial assistance.
I asked her if she would be able to support me financially if I were homeless / in desperate need (I have a penchant for melodrama, what can I say?) when I told my mom that I decided to leave my first “real” adult job to fly.
She replied, “Honey, what do you mean?” Like 50 dollars? Maybe I will do that.
I’m not talking about this to prove that I’m extremely unique and resourceful, because the fact is that most people who are a little scrappy and able to throw themselves out there will do what I’ve done.
My one fantastic talent is my capacity to constantly embarrass myself, and I’ve discovered that in my search of inexpensive travel opportunities, this talent has actually served me very well.
So what’s a traveler like yourself to do so now?
Well, for one, you don’t need to stop operating across the globe to gallivant-by seeking jobs that include flying, you can make work part of your gallivanting.
Generally speaking, an NGO is a non-governmental organization, a non-profit organization working internationally to address a number of issues.
I created this post, having worked with NGOs globally, to help you do three things:
- First of all, to help you appreciate some of the challenges and provide meaning to what it takes to work with a multinational NGO.
- Second, to send you some insights about how you should determine what sort of NGO job is right for you.
- Thirdly, to share with you the strategies for seeking the best NGO employment for you.
What’s Up With NGOs?
However, make sure you know what you’re getting into before you start on finding NGO jobs.
Here is anything to remember before we move on.
Many NGOs are loaded with very wise, good individuals who care profoundly for the individuals with whom they work, but can unwittingly do harm because they have not really made a proper effort to understand the cultural background in which they work.
In order to give you an insight into what I mean, consider this situation …
Equipped with scholarly research suggesting that squat toilets are cleaner and more sanitary than Western-style seated toilets, a group of 18-26-year-old Nepalis come to the United States on a mission to gut all of the country’s toilets and cover them with holes in the dirt.
None of these people have some toilet building experience, but the reports sound very convincing, and they carry a lot of energy and a deep motivation to do well. That’s all that happens, right?
They can’t speak the local language, but they may be employed under an older Nepali who, at a conversational stage, has learned to learn English. So a few primary English phrases are taught by the school, but nothing that will allow them to have some kind of substantive conversation. Yeah, they can’t communicate with the locals effectively, Yet they have some very powerful suggestions about what we need to do to change our position in the bathroom. Then building the fresh sanitary squat toilets and making our lives ‘better’ gets to work.
Possibly, the entire situation sounds bizarre, but this is pretty much just what happens when young people from rich countries migrate to developing countries to do good, emboldened by a strong confidence that they have something valuable to offer.
May these ideas have never crossed your mind; when it comes to NGO work overseas, it ‘s certainly not the first thing people care about.
However, as you look for options, having these ideas in mind will help you discover something that is perfect for you.
There is already a lot of compassion going on out there in the world, which is why it is so vital to choose the best NGO to work with.
How to search and find overseas work for NGOs that are perfect for you
Here are a few things you should do while applying for NGO positions or working overseas in the NGO industry to get the upper hand.
Clarify what the encounter actually makes you do and why you believe it will be perfect for you and the local community.
What are your reasons and the amount of time you have? The more time you will devote, the more desirable you can get. As a short-term solution to destroy a few weeks in the developed world, this just isn’t a good idea. It would improve the odds of having a perfect career that is right for you to commit yourself and dive into the entire thinness.
What is it that you do well?
Only remember your main skill set, and where you have a good base. For one, if you’ve never had a hammer before, you’re obviously not going to do any meaningful work constructing homes. Put them to good use if you have language talents and can function as a translator! You don’t really have to have a technical experience and you’re certainly fantastic at something, so find out about it.
Try not to get bogged down in depression over the immense challenges you are facing, because often the challenges can be overwhelming and disheartening, particularly in developing countries. The work of NGOs can also be long, intense, and, honestly, pretty thankless. It is tough to be upbeat, But if you temper your standards and learn to savor tiny successes, it helps. In this respect, it will help to identify NGOs that build observable, positive changes in the lives of people who have a track record of meeting their objectives.
You’re not going to change the universe, but in one person’s life, you can make a difference, and that can feel pretty amazing.
Network like crazy
When you have selected a place where you would like to function, think about and email everyone you meet in your social network that may have contacts there. By going out this way, I’ve found several jobs (and helped many of my friends find jobs). It is indispensable to have anyone to vouch for you directly (especially one who knows the region and may have a clear understanding of the work that is already being done there). Healthy bets are going to include:
- Friends who have studied in the region abroad are likely to have some wise, wise, worldly peers who think for the same things you do and have made connections in the place you want to visit. You possibly have friends who are also from the city. Dream to them! I know people who got NGO jobs through Facebook, which seems impossible to be dumb, but this is the 21st century, so get on board.
- Non-profits such as the American Himalayan Foundation will have a better understanding of what’s going on with NGOs in the Himalayas and what is most needed there. Local non-profits with connections to the area. Reach out to them and appreciate their professionalism.
- This is a no-brainer for former Peace Corps volunteers in the area, but volunteers from the Peace Corps will have spent two years working on the ground level. They’re going to have a clear sense about what’s going on, because they’re going to have made mistakes, and they’re going to have seen other people making mistakes so you can probably learn from. Plus, they’re going to have the best stories.
- Ex-pat communities-a lot of ex-pats work for NGOs, and it is possible that even those who do not have access to the world of NGOs will have decent chances.
- Whether you went to college, studied anthropology, and had a professor like mine, they’ll be pleased to learn about your career search, our old anthropology professor or a study abroad counselor, And they have 100 million useful, if rather irritating, bits of information about how not to be a colonialist. The study abroad tutor can also be a fantastic help at your college. Ask them to bring you in contact with individuals in your ideal area who have learned.
Don’t fear reaching out to someone. If you want to ask total strangers to take this gamble on you, you may need to put yourself out there, so get used to it. I find NGO work by cold-calling college alums that I’d never encountered, messaging global English-language publications, and reaching out on Facebook to friends of friends.
When people ask me how I chose most of the possibilities I had, I have to be honest: it’s because I’m absolutely and utterly shameless. I put myself out there and, on a daily basis, embarrass myself. There’s no loop worth breaking out of, so get at it.
In my view, several individuals are happy to help out.
Scour job directories.
Most of the employment I discovered came by networking, so that’s what I put first. Another outstanding way to get excited and see what’s out there is career directories. At least to give you a sense of what organizations are doing and how much NGO activity there might be in a given place , particularly in the beginning if you don’t know the region very well, these directories can be a great jumping-off point.
Just be mindful because it is actually much more fruitful to reach out directly to human beings, and it can be disheartening to give your resume to 100 sites and never hear back from any. Go to the organization’s website and see how you can get a phone number to call if you see a page that looks appealing. Owing to a fear of pestering people, you might be reluctant to call, But if you feel like you’ve just dropped your CV into the void of the internet, it is certainly worth a try.
job.ngo is an ideal place to start hunting especially in afghanistan.
My first NGO job came from an opportunity I noticed through vfp.org to volunteer. In a completely inexpensive (and awesome) programme, I volunteered for a summer, developed relationships, and returned twice as a paying employee. This was perfect because I was risk-free, from the viewpoint of the company. As a volunteer, they had already seen me and knew I would work hard to recruit me.
For persons who can’t afford to volunteer at all, this isn’t a perfect option, but some of these services are very inexpensive or even free. You will only be accountable for the housing costs and incidentals. If you can afford to remain afloat for the short term, volunteering is definitely one of the best ways for an NGO to get a decent one.
Pick up expertise locally that will help you become a more attractive job at overseas NGOs.
Next, have a feel of the location and appreciate the community in which you will work. You’ll be a much more important commodity if you can understand the local language.
This goes back to the need to very honestly question yourself, “What is it that I can provide?” Figure it out first if you can’t truly answer that question.
NGO work can be fantastic learning opportunities, but for you to find yourself on someone else’s pocket, NGOs do not exist.
Everywhere, capabilities that are still valuable include:
- Hands-on talents that need power, such as carpentry. Everyone tries to do this kind of job, but most of us are utterly bad at it. You’ll be indispensable if you have real talents here.
- Agriculture and gardening. Ditto. Ditto. This is one of those stuff that when they’re 9 to 5, every Joe Schmo fantasizes about doing gets particularly mind-numbingly dull, but it’s a lot of hard work and needs a ton of information. That’s a big selling point if you have familiarity with it, but use that to your benefit!
If you plan to do these kinds of physical jobs overseas, check it out in your home country first to see whether it fits for you-it ‘s far more difficult and stressful than you’d possibly expect.
The Final Word
Finally, for someone who truly cares about finding out what they have to give and not doing harm (and maybe even doing any good), here are some words of wisdom:
You’ve got lots to sell. It ‘s important to build a solid base of modesty. Before teaching anyone, learn as much as you possibly can. Some NGOs save countless lives and are great and helpful. Others are pretty crap, and trying to say the difference is your duty.
Get yourself out there now and do something amazing!!!