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Author: Malaika Neri

How early should you be to an interview?

How early should you be to an interview?

The rainiest day this month, Jennifer and I sit in her kitchen, chatting about her upcoming Skype interview; the clock reads half past one.

“It’s at four this afternoon,” she says, raising her coffee mug to her lips. “I’ve got time to prepare.”

“Let’s start now,” I say, pushing back my chair.

We sit down at her desk, planning to go over the questions and her responses, and something feels not quite right…

Friday Links

Friday Links

Can you get a job writing Christmas cards? The answer is: yes! This NGO in the north of Thailand, started by two former bankers, is looking for English- and German-speaking volunteers to handwrite hundreds of Christmas cards later this year, presumably to be sent out to donors in advance of the holiday season, because there’s little so impactful as a handwritten note to express gratitude.

Have you considered being an international development consultant?

Have you considered being an international development consultant?

Did you fall headfirst in love with working abroad, with other cultures, seeing the world… but you need something different from a full-time job?

You might want to consider becoming an international development consultant.

The truth is, consulting is a fabulous way to toe the line between self-employment (and all the freedom, flexibility AND potential for rapidly-rising income it entails) while keeping your feet and hands and mind firmly within the realm of international affairs, focused on high-level policy and decision-making (even if the individual contract has relatively straightforward responsibilities).

It’s one of the few formats in which you get to enjoy being part of an organisation – the camaraderie, access and exposure to bright, multi-cultural colleagues, and all-expenses-paid trips to tropical countries – while retaining your independence and getting to decide what time you want to start your day, which days of the week you want to work (and which ones you want to play/hang out with children/sit outside and watch the rain (my preference). Obviously, making the decision to be a consultant entails a serious commitment – both to yourself, in terms of your work ethic and quality control – and to the organisation whom you’ll serve, because they’re trusting you but are unable to reprimand you for any negative consequences (besides, of course, not paying or telling you they no longer want to work with you).


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You will already have a sense, after reading this article, of whether consulting sounds like it could be for you. If it’s not, that’s okay; frankly, most people in the world are happy to be employees with 2-4 weeks paid holidays and an income that arrives in 12 equally-proportioned lump sumps every month – and there is a great deal of stability that comes with a full-time job.

But if you want MORE, such as the chance to take 6 weeks off to go hiking around South Africa with your partner or adventurous son and come home to work on a PowerPoint for UNICEF, or being able to enjoy your child’s first years at home but have the intellectual stimulation of a policy-driven project, or simply want to double your salary, then consulting is absolutely the right option for you.

If you’re interested in consulting – in the short-term OR in the longer term, or even knowing how to get into it in case you’re between jobs or want to try something different on the side, would you help me out by taking a short survey (2-3 min) on what you’d want to know more about?

Here’s the link to the survey.

 

Thank you so much! Happy weekend.

 

xoxo

Malaika

 

Photo by Erik Hersman.

UN Internship in the Middle East

UN Internship in the Middle East

UN is hiring ASAP for its office in Jordan. Doing an UN internship is one of the best ways to learn how it works, and get invited to P-3 jobs.

PAID UN internship in Geneva, Switzerland

PAID UN internship in Geneva, Switzerland

The UN is hiring an intern in Geneva. It’s a PAID internship beginning ASAP (August 2019), and gives you some money for your travel costs.

Paid UN internship in Latin America – Apply ASAP!

Paid UN internship in Latin America – Apply ASAP!

Click Here to download application details
I was in Central America a little over a year ago. Not in the highlands, where this job is located, nowhere close to the capital city of San José, where this job is located, and far away from the Caribbean coast. Where I was, taking afternoon naps at the beach and by rivers, was light years away from the buzzing lifestyle you’ll have with this job, because every American country is like that – each region divorced and barely on speaking terms with the other extreme of the country; each departamento a country unto itself.

Here in Central America, even with a UN job, life is laid back, tempered by the warm breezes blowing off the nearby Caribbean, with the slight edge of urgency and mystery brought on by life in the mountains.

This is a life of platano verde  (fried green bananas, YUM) for breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Of strong coffee grown in the highlands all around you by farmers with dark skin and darker eyes filled with stories, of lots of breaks throughout the afternoon for chatting with colleagues and scrolling through photos on your phone from a beach trip last weekend. Of the lilting Central American Spanish and blue skies nearly every single day, except in the rainy season when the sky unleashes its weeping tears without so much as a warning lightning bolt.

This region has seen civil war and American military men and British celebrities come and go. They’re the northernmost reach of the ancient Aztec empire, and still retain some of the fear and submissiveness the Aztecs drilled into every single one of their illiterate citizens. They’re at the southernmost extreme of the expansive reach of Yankee soft power, and Coca Cola is gurgled down the throat of every child before they even think of a glass of water.

This is a country where crocodiles swim in the rivers and eat little boys for dinner (yes, really), where groups of women sit low in streams to wash their family’s clothes, where the sun bakes the tarmac of the beautiful highways that join it to North and South America even as it nourishes all the incredible fruit and vegetables that are going to make their way into your belly at every meal.

Click Here to download application details


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Photos above by Scott Robinson, Vytautas Šerys, Dan Lundberg, and Armando Maynez.

Click Here to download application details