Posts Tagged ‘Global health’

Five career mistakes & landing a job in global health

Monday, May 11th, 2009

Again, apologies for the lag in posts—this transition to the new Working World site has taken more time than anticipated (though when you see that the new site looks pretty much the same as the old, other than the URL, you’ll probably wonder what’s taken so long, to which I would respond, “I’m not entirely sure.”)

Technological bellyaching aside, I’ve got a lot in the hopper that will come out in due time, hopefully on the new site. For now, a few interesting career posts from Alanna Shaikh and Jessica Pickett writing on the Global Health blog at (you know Alanna from Blood and Milk too). Alanna reflects on her top five career mistakes, the most interesting and forthcoming of which has to be “I had a baby.” She also posits a few other items that I would wholeheartedly agree with, including advocate for yourself and your salary, worry less about the title than who you’re working for and what you’re actually doing, and “I want work I enjoy that has meaning for me, at an organization that values innovation. Beyond that, I take life as it comes.” Indeed.

Her fellow Global Health blogger Jessica explores the big question of “how do you actually land a job” in global health and international development. Two salient points: informational interviews are good, and it never hurts to get in touch with an organization you’d love to work at even if they don’t have job openings just right now. (Those two points are related, in case that wasn’t clear.)

Finally, Jessica follows up her first post on how to land a job with a second one. A juicy tidbit from the comments section, in which a reader advises: “choose jobs you can build on,” which is eerily similar to Sherry’s mantra that each job and step you take in your career is, and should be viewed as, a building block. You might not necessarily know exactly where it’s going to take you, but if it is moving in a direction that suits you and is providing you experience/teaching you skills you didn’t have before, then it’s a good thing.