Local to global: 9 tips for local professionals to expand their careers

A man reads a book about "Careers in International Afairs". If you want to get started in global development, you will need to build credibility by starting out with related employment that opens new windows of opportunities. Photo by: William Brawley / CC BY

Professionals from the developed world have historically dominated the field of international development. If you were to look at a typical field office in the past, you would see a team of managers or technical experts from places like Australia, North America or Western Europe. Local staff was hired for support and admin roles, but professionals from donor countries were running programs. But with the localization of aid, that image is quickly changing. Local professionals are running projects; not only this, but their expertise is increasingly sought after – even more so than their expat counterparts.

As these professionals build up valuable experience and expertise, many of them want to apply their skills and knowledge on a global scale and are looking to work outside of their home country. Called by some “third country nationals,” these professionals are neither from the donor country nor the recipient country, which provides a unique set of challenges when looking for opportunities.

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.