If you are looking for social service jobs that allow you to travel, it is important that you are familiar with the real picture. Finding paid international humanitarian work is extremely competitive. With a growing bottle neck getting into this space, they do not always have the funds to host volunteers or pay to other countries.
Most of the grass root jobs in social service exist in Asia, Africa and South America. These run on the commitment of the members. Furthermore, in countries that have unemployment rates as high as 20-40%, these grass root jobs typically belong to the citizens of those countries.
Then Where Should I Look?
If you are looking for international social service job openings, it is best to approach international NGOs. Today, not only American citizens, but highly qualified candidates from countries such as Tajikistan, India, Uganda and Philippines are applying for jobs with international NGOs.
How do I get a Paid International Social Work Job?
To be able to bag a paid humanitarian job, you need to come with years of local work experience in the related field. International experience and knowledge of the culture in which you intend to work is a must add to your prospects. It is important that you possess humility, are resourceful and determined. You should be familiar with the local language of the country you intend to work in.
Why is International Experience Important?
If you truly wish to contribute through your work, it is important that you are familiar with the local language, culture and challenges of the society you work in. Also, most NGOs who hire international workers prefer to hire social workers on whom they do not need to invest years in orientation.
How do I get International Experience?
Volunteering is an effective route to gain some global experience. In addition to gaining some pertinent experience, you are also able to build a foundation for future paid work. 2 to 3 posts of volunteer work are sufficient enough to give you significant experience.
It is important to remember that international work is more complex than it may seem. It is not as simple as just transplanting your skills into a different culture. NGOs are looking for people who they know understand how international work is different from the work they had been doing locally.
Leveraging your Cultural Roots
NGOs looking for international humanitarian workers immensely value cultural experiences. Especially individuals who have cultural roots in different countries and wish to work there carry significant advantage. If you already know the language, interaction patterns, belief systems of a culture, you will be able to easily connect with them and get things done.
When you start hunting for opportunities, make it a point to find growing grass root organizations. You may have already understood that social work has an important role to play across all levels of the social service infrastructure of the country. With some perseverance and hard work you will soon be able to reap the fruits of the work you have put in to make a difference in the global society.
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