Are you one of those people who wants to dedicate their time to humanitarian causes and take it as a full-time career?
The development sector is a career field in Bangladesh that not only fulfills your desire to work for humanity, but also pays well.
As the Covid-19 pandemic has made jobs disappear, thousands of job seekers are in despair and the development sector is the only field of work which consistently offers jobs.
However, in order to work in this diverse sector dedicated to the betterment of humanity, having a mentality to aid humanitarian causes is a must.
Farhana Deeba, an experienced development sector professional said that if someone does not have the urge to work for people in difficult times, this sector is not for them.
Whether it is a social development cause or an emergency response, working for the people is the first priority. And in any emergency, a person must be on the spot supporting the victims without any intentions of profiting from the situation.
But is it easy for a beginner to dive into this sector? With lengthy job descriptions posted in each job advertisement, it may not seem easy.
So, how do you meet those requirements and become a part of this sector? The Business Standard will help you explore the avenues that would land you a job in the development sector.
First of all, the development sector involves working for education, society, nutrition, health, and many other relevant areas.
You do not necessarily need to have degrees in sociology, development studies, or disaster management to enter this sector, unless the job requirement specifically mentions it. However, having a Master's degree in social and development studies is an added advantage.
Traditionally this sector is often filled with foreigners as international NGOs and UN bodies preferred that in the past. But the good news is that now, around 60% of the administrative positions are held by eligible and experienced Bangladeshi workers.
"Bangladeshis have tremendous opportunities in changing the landscape of the development sector," Farhana Deeba told The Business Standard.
So, buckle up and join this sector if you have the desire to work for people and polish your skills. But you must become habituated with learning new things to grow your career. Otherwise, it will become motionless after a while.
The Business Standard has narrowed down some industry expert pointers for you.
Start working from student life
In the beginning, it is pretty tough to secure a position in any renowned organisation. Pursuing an internship or a consultancy-related position in this sector as a university student will give you the work experience a fresh graduate lacks.
Starting your career as a Unicef Volunteer (UNV) might help build the career as it opens more doors. You could also work as a youth volunteer for local NGOs.
Get the professional degree
As soon as you make up your mind and select a career path, get an academic degree that will add value to your career, suggested Amiya Halder, Communication Specialist at Unicef Bangladesh.
"Do not waste time. Pursue a master's degree early in your entry-level job. It will help you to enhance your expertise very quickly," she added.
If you are determined to build your career in the development sector, learning the donor's language is a must.
As donors, France and western countries are on the top of the list. In that case, it will be wiser to learn French or Spanish or any other UN language along with English.
Sometimes language skills can be equivalent to your academic Master's degree, if you are an expert enough.
Gather work experience
If you are starting your career after graduation, start working at a national NGO for developing your interests.
It will help you explore the openings in other international organisations as every institution needs practical hands-on experience. Additionally, try to achieve a new benchmark and produce a larger volume of work.
Exploring new fields and gathering new experiences is always beneficial. It adds a dimensional flavour and helps to aim for a better opportunity.
Try to be flexible and explore a new possibility whenever you get a chance. If someone wants to have a promising career, exploring different options that come their way is a sensible decision.
It will only strengthen your career path and widen your scope, Amiya suggested.
If you enjoy travelling, you must sign up for this profession. In most entry-level emergency response jobs, travelling is mandatory.
You may have to travel to remote areas of the country to respond to any crisis. So, a development worker should be flexible, adaptive to long work shifts, and comfortable to work with rural people.
Take career tips from seniors
No one can give you better career advice than your senior colleagues as they have first-hand experience, Amiya believes.
Career advice from seniors may help you navigate this sector and inspire your future career plans. As per Amiya, sometimes this approach can be more beneficial than networking.
No matter where you are and what you are working on, reporting, communicating, and preparing concept notes are few of the common skills you must have.
In the development sector, writing is important and experts suggest practising writing daily. Freelancing writing jobs and blogging are good ways to polish this skill.
Time management is one of the crucial aspects in this sector. Hence, try to meet deadlines as it will create a good impression of you.
Moreover, responding quickly to any crisis should be your primary concern as it can change your career's game since the development sector is all about working for the people.
Moreover, enjoy your work, otherwise this sector might feel overwhelming.
There is no reason to think that the development sector is a limited area. Based on expertise and demand, everyone can land a job here.
"Having the mentality to provide justice and work for developing the society are the two main qualities a person must have," said AJM Zobaidur Rahman Soeb, media and communications coordinator of Oxfam in Bangladesh.
Gain knowledge of just and unjust
Understanding diversity is vital in this sector because it helps to see the difference between just and unjust. Additionally, having enough knowledge about gender, racism, sexism and other social issues that drives the world will help you in the future.
"Try to be updated about the things happening right now. We are just one click away from everything. The more you learn, the more dimensional you will be and it will help you solve the root of the problems," Soeb added.
Skills you must posses
Being tech savvy is a plus point. If you have to work on the field level, being a good orator and skilled in MS office would add value to your work.
Also, driving skills could be helpful in special cases.