Relevant work experience is essential for securing a role in the ID sector. Engaging in work experiences which give you exposure to your sector or region of interest is highly encouraged. Volunteering is great way to gain the relevant skills which you will need to enter the sector, both in the UK and overseas.
Networking is very useful in this sector as you may find an entry point through someone that is working in an area or location you’re interested in. Spend time researching your organisations of interest, learn about their internal team structures and keep an eye out for entry-level roles to see what types of candidates they usually seek. Speak to current employees, read their blogs and follow their social media platforms to keep up to date with their work. Doing this in the months leading up to making your applications will give you plenty of time to learn and pick up information.
If you’re looking to gain experience
If you’re just starting out, then doing some volunteering whilst you’re at LSE is a good way to gain experience. You could also get involved in a student society that focuses on development.
If you’re early on in your career
Although there are a few structured graduate schemes, some development consultancies and in a number of UN organisations, the vast majority of entrants to the sector start off by volunteering or undertaking internships and then progress to permanent positions. Larger charities such as Christian Aid, Oxfam and People and Planet offer internship opportunities.
If you have more experience
Most positions are gained by applying to advertised jobs or using personal networks. For more senior jobs, specialist recruitment agencies such as Oxford HR may be useful.
You can also engage in volunteering using your experience. Voluntary Service Overseas (VSO) and Médecins Sans Frontières (MSF) recruiting volunteers with professional skills and qualifications.
If you’re changing career
People often move into this sector using existing relevant experience, for example moving from working in HR in a corporation to HR in an NGO. For moves that involve a change in role as well, it’s often necessary to take some stepping stones to gain relevant experience. This could involve volunteering or perhaps taking a more junior position.
Not sure what to do next?
We’re here to talk over your career plans with you. It doesn’t matter what stage you’re at, so don’t feel you have to have it all worked out. You can book a one-to-one appointment with a careers consultant on CareerHub.