Opinion – Navigating the Job Search Terrain for New Grads

Emmanuel Bernard Muzingwani

All the hard work, sleepless nights, stressful studies, lots of money invested in your studies!

Combat the thesis writing process. All have contributed to your success! You are more than excited to hold that first degree or Masters etc. ! Everyone is now turning to you, to change or improve the situation at home! For some, finding a job can be a daunting task! Soon, if care is not taken, you will be spending months or even years looking for a job. This can inevitably lead to mental health issues. You might start to wonder if all the learning stress you went through was worth it. Surely there is something you need to get right from the start when you start looking for a job. This writing is generally aimed at young graduates wishing to work in the international development space/NGOs/international organizations etc.

Define your area of ​​interest

For some, you found yourself taking a degree or program because your advanced level results couldn’t get you into the right program, for some, your parents encouraged or forced you to take a degree you didn’t. hadn’t chosen. How then can this be resolved. There are plenty of opportunities you can explore. The first step could be to define your area/topic of interest. Gone are the days when popular careers paid so much, these careers include law, accounting, and medicine, among others. You would be surprised if some environment and climate change careers are becoming more favorable in the market in light of global ambitions to achieve net zero emissions. If you are committed to achieving sustainability programs, a great way to start your career might be to settle for an internship, volunteering, or scholarship opportunity. Many internship opportunities are offered by international development organizations such as the United Nations Development Programme, Save the Children, Plan International, global health organizations, Care International, among others. The most popular opportunities are the United Nations volunteer programs. Once you have defined your area of ​​interest which could be in human rights, procurement, climate, health, administration, finance, economics, human resources, you need to learn how How hiring processes work within different organizations (like the one highlighted above).

Be open-minded and ready to explore some offers on the table

Your career may not be right. You may find yourself doing something you haven’t necessarily studied. This is why it is advisable to accept an internship or volunteer opportunity with international organizations, NGOs, etc. This will allow you to learn more about organizational settings, etc. Opportunities. They shun the titles trainee, volunteer or junior. You need to understand that many people you see today as managers or in permanent positions, the majority of them started with an internship or a volunteering opportunity (check the statistics on UN Volunteers for example) . One should apply for the UN volunteer opportunities here https://www.unv.org/become-volunteer. Once you get that entry-level job, it will pave the way for a great career.

Networking / Using social media platforms like LinkedIn

The 21st century generation is so blessed with access to the internet, digital platforms that facilitate access to international opportunities. One of the greatest assets/tools that could transform a graduate’s life is a professional social media platform like LinkedIn. On LinkedIn, you will find many experts in your field of interest. You should follow them, especially the ones that give advice on getting a job in their field of work. Some professionals are free and comfortable helping you if you send them a career counseling message. You need to have a strong pitch when you send a private message that will get them to respond to you. Remember that they have no right to answer you, guide you or give you a job. It is in their generosity and their free will to lend a hand to discuss with you, refine your CV or your cover letters. You would do yourself a lot of good if you spent some time chatting with people on LinkedIn or following those who work at certain organizations that interest you. This will greatly help you find your opportunity there.

*Emmanuel Bernard Muzingwani, international consultant to the UNDP, Digi-tech diplomat and founder of United Nations Careers.com. Muzingwani writes in a personal capacity and his views do not represent those of his employer or its affiliates. He can be contacted at emmanuelb.muzingwani@gmail.com

Photo: Hunting

Caption: Emmanuel Bernard Muzingwani