It's the classic career catch-22: Most firms and organizations won't hire you unless you've got experience, but how can you get industry experience if nobody will hire you (because you don't have experience)?
If you're looking to dip your toes into the welcoming waters of development, you're in the right spot: Devex Jobs lists thousands of job opportunities, gathered by a team of researchers that scours the Web day in and day out. You may also have visited popular sites like Idealist, or talked with friends about Engineers Without Borders. But here's one spot that may not spring immediately to mind: Craigslist. Devex is monitoring the site and will post relevant openings on its jobs page.
Although it's been in the news of late for less positive reasons, this free classifieds Web site is not just for hooking up, finding housing or snagging the odd job. A smattering of legitimate development, nonprofit and related opportunities await. Right now, one Manhattan outfit is seeking a "green queen" to pitch in during a weekend of "sustainable events" next month. French language skills and an environmental background are recommended for this unpaid volunteer position.
Grant writing and other fundraising positions for nonprofits are a dime a dozen in this time of economic woe. But students and recent graduates could also raise awareness for a humanitarian organization, or work under paid internships on grassroots human rights campaigns.
You could become a scholar resident at the Green Leadership Institute and spend a couple months at the 330-acre Geldon Castle Estate in upstate New York devising more sustainable development innovations.
Even if you're in midcareer, craigslist might have the gig for you. Just a few days ago, an ad requested an expert capable of putting together an agricultural development project for Zambia.
More opportunities are being added every day. And all of these ads are from the New York site; more await at the Washington, D.C., craigslist site, as well as the sites for other major "development" cities like Geneva, Tokyo and Manila.