A Career in Aid Work


"I want to be an aid worker" was created by the Global Poverty Project. With 1.4 billion people living in extreme poverty, the Global Poverty Project aims to increase the number and effectiveness of those striving to end extreme poverty. For more information, go to: www.globalpovertyproject.com

If you've made it this far, you probably fit into one of two categories: (1) You are a "do-gooder" who recognizes the many injustices in our world and you aspire to help those whose voices go unheard. Or, (2) You like to travel, heard the salaries aren't so shabby, and wouldn't mind using some of the UN and NGO funds at the expense of the poor.

Engage in brow-sweating, self-reflection to know if being an aid worker is right for you.We say the latter sarcastically and deeply hope that it isn't an accurate portrayal of those currently working within the humanitarian system or those visiting this site. Either way, it is important to engage in some brow-sweating, self-reflection while you consider if being an aid worker is right for you.

Once you're sure your heart is 185% invested in diminishing the deep divisions between the world's wealthy and poor, speaking out against war and oppression, advocating for worldwide peace, standing up for women and girls, expressing your OUTRAGE against sexual and gender-based violence and actually doing something about it in your day-to-day-to-day life, promoting environmental education and taking concrete steps in your own life to help counteract climate change, you are ready.

But, unless you plan to wedge your nose between books on aid work for your entire career, it's important to understand the risks that being an aid worker entails. Perusing this site and interacting with aid workers who have experience in the field and, especially, with traumatic/critical incidents will help. But, adequate training is also necessary. Then, you are ready and truly fit to travel....it's important to understand the risks that being an aid worker entails.

Once you're deep into your career, think back to this site. When you encounter other aid workers who are traumatized by past experiences in the field, give them the respect they deserve. Only once you demonstrate a clear ability to respect your colleagues and their histories as aid workers are you a genuine humanitarian.

This page provides a list of organizations "doing good" throughout the world as well as aid-working job sites, where you might be able to get your hands on a job to do your own "good". If you have an organization/agency you'd like to list here, please jot us a message and let us know!

GENERAL JOB SEARCHING SITES
CV and INTERVIEWS
ACADEMIA
CHILDREN
CLIMATE CHANGE / ENVIRONMENT
DEVELOPMENT
EDUCATION
EMERGENCY / DISASTER RELIEF
FAIR TRADE
GOVERNMENT-FUNDED AID / DEVELOPMENT
HEALTH / HIV / FAMILY PLANNING
HUMAN RIGHTS / LEGAL AID
HUNGER
MIGRATION / FORCED MIGRATION / TRAFFICKING
PEACE
REFUGEE RESETTLEMENT (UNITED STATES)
RESEARCH / THINKTANKS
TRAUMA
UNITED NATIONS
UNITED NATIONS-GOVERNMENT COLLABORATION
VOLUNTEER
WOMEN / GENDER
OTHER ACTORS CONTRIBUTING TO WORLD CHANGE and PEACE
READ NEXT: BEFORE YOU GO