First, an NGO Job may be for you if you are aiming to get a salary and you can leave it if you find another well paid job in another sector. An NGO CAREER is for you if you are looking to stay longer working for an NGO in order to make a difference to the lives of people in need. This is really what our NGO CAREER is all about.
Like other areas of human endeavour, working for an NGO requires an approach tailored to the non-profit industry. A good understanding of the world of charities, NGOs, and non-profits is always the first step towards getting an NGO Job from entry-level jobs to high-level jobs. But here is some career advice to help you land that NGO job of your dreams.
Get experience in your field and have the right qualifications.
When looking towards working for an NGO with long term career, experience is always paramount. For example, experience is what you should bring to the table in any international development job you're looking for.
If you are a recent graduate or have never worked for an NGO or charity, the realistic starting point is looking for an entry-level job because it does not require prior experience in the sector the NGO you want to work for is involved in . This will give you an opportunity for attending NGO events, have free professional development training, and learn from colleagues and therefore build experience and acquire the skills to work for an NGO. These skills may include Communication skills (verbal and oral), team-working, fundraising, campaigning, IT Skills, leadership, event organising, problem-solving, organisation and planning, interpersonal skills, time management and reporting.
To gather experience, if you are a young school leaver, first research your area of interest before you begin working for an NGO. What sector of NGOs do you want to work for, education, human rights, or healthcare? What are the skills required for the department of the NGO that you seek to work for? What are the qualifications you require to work for an NGO? Do you have those qualifications? If the answer is No, find out if you want to start out exploring career opportunities in NGOs by volunteering. You may also enrol in relevant education institutions or in professional development courses to get qualifications required to work for an NGO : a degree International Development, International Relations, Development Studies, Human Rights, Advocacy and Campaigning, etc. More qualifications to work for an NGO can be found at the University of London/SOAS.
Research the NGOs that you are interested in and make a direct approach to them, particularly by offering your time to volunteer. Because most non-profits would prefer your experience even above a satisfactory degree, you can also gain much leverage by first seeking internship programs in non-governmental organisations.
Another great way to boost your chances of getting an entry-level NGO job is by networking. Networking is simply building a relationship with already established workers in the sector of your aspiration. This can be done by attending fundraising events, campaigning events or free training events organised by NGOs, and subscribing to NGO’s emailing lists. Another way to do this is by adopting a "mentor-mentee communication" with them. Most established NGO personnel are always willing to help those who show enthusiasm, with a particular mark of wanting to work in their footsteps. You can build such a relationship with more than one person in more than one non-profit organisation, particularly if you can show them that you have a cause you wish to promote or if you have fundraising skills to raise money for the NGO.
Networking is one way to spread your tentacles across various non-governmental organisations. With it, you can be flexible enough to switch roles across organisations and boost your experience in any field of interest. More impressive is the fact that networking also boosts your social and human relations skills.
Polish your CV and improve on your cover letter
While this may appear as an obvious thing to do, polishing your CV doesn't come just by stating your qualifications on a paper. Take "extra" steps to research for materials that will help boost both the quality of your cover letter and the general appeal of your CV. Resources in CV/resume writing will help you become more articulate in delivering your ideas and qualifications in your cover letter. Perfection isn't necessarily a luxury when it comes to writing a good CV. Make sure you regsiter and post your CV to our NGO Job Portal.
Be Flexible as You Seek for Your Ideal Job
The career path of non-governmental organisations is a highly competitive one. Even after getting the skills required for an NGO job, flexibility is necessary to climb the ladder quickly.
Getting your ideal NGO Career is a destination, not a one-shot target. This means that you may want to consider other career roles as you scout for job vacancies. Instead of waiting for that "one shot," you can lobby your way through the not-so-ideal job and leverage it to spread your wings. The journey always gets easier once you're in the system. But getting in may require you considering options outside your ideal NGO job. These tips are just a few tips that will help you land that NGO job you're seeking for. With these tips and some personal approaches in your relevant field, you'll surely be on your way to success in working for an NGO.
Make sure you create your online profile using social media and keep it updated to show your skills, experience, achievements and mobilise friends and recruiters who may be interested in the work you do. Write articles about the work an NGO is doing and how it makes a difference to the people in need and send them a link.