Where are the opportunities for seasoned aid professionals?

Devex asks recruiters where the opportunities for seasoned professionals are. Via YouTube.

Many of the aid sector’s most experienced professionals worry that there will be fewer job opportunities for them later in their careers. Some organizations, such as the United Nations, have policies around mandatory retirement that can make it more difficult for seasoned professionals to get hired.

But there are ways to capitalize on your experience and expertise, according to recruiters.

Perhaps most obviously, there are opportunities in senior management roles, suggested Nev Ezzat, senior recruitment manager at DAI. Positions such as chief of party and deputy chief of party typically require professionals with many years of experience.

There are also specific sectors that tend to require professionals with a higher level of education and experience, she explained. This is often the case with jobs related to financial services — including public financial management, economic growth, and economic development — and certain areas of governance, such as decentralization reforms and local governance.

Julie Smallwood, senior proposal recruiter with Intrahealth International, pointed to consulting work as a way for professionals to continue offering their expertise. Even if it isn’t a full-time position, it can be a great way to stay involved in the sector, she added.

Finally, the new generation of workers will always need someone to learn from and seasoned professionals are great teachers, said Yvonne Hubbard, international recruiter at Peace Corps.

Most organizations recognize that seasoned professionals have a lot to offer, so be confident in presenting your skills, she advised.

Watch the video to find out more about opportunities for seasoned aid professionals.

About the author

  • Emma Smith

    Emma Smith is a Reporter at Devex. She covers all things related to careers and hiring in the global development community as well as mental health within the sector — from tips on supporting humanitarian staff to designing mental health programs for refugees. Emma has reported from key development hubs in Europe and co-produced Devex’s DevProWomen2030 podcast series. She holds a degree in journalism from Glasgow Caledonian University and a master's in media and international conflict. In addition to writing for regional news publications, she has worked with organizations focused on child and women’s rights.