Ask Devex: How do I transition from a multilateral to an NGO job?

How can experienced professionals position themselves for an NGO job after working in a multilateral organization? Photo by:

Dear Kate,

I was in an international nongovernmental organization and am now working in a multilateral organization. How do I transition back to INGOs?

— Career Transitioner

Dear Career Transitioner,

This is a question I frequently hear, including sentiments that a long resume within a multilateral organization such as the United Nations system can at times be a liability when job hunting in other sectors.

Each sector has its own way of operating, own vocabulary and own networks. There is often a preference for hiring people already immersed in each world and a lack of understanding of, or appreciation for, people who come from a different background.

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About the author

  • Warren kate 1

    Kate Warren

    Kate Warren is Executive Vice President and resident talent and careers guru at Devex. With 15 years of global development recruitment experience advising international NGOs, consulting firms, and donor agencies, she has a finger on the pulse of hiring trends across the industry and insider knowledge on what it takes to break in.