Newsletter #1 – Welcome to the club!


If you are getting this newsletter, you sign up for jobs in International Development (if not, I hate to break to you, someone did…), welcome! This first message is an introduction to myself, to this project and what will be happening in the coming weeks. Don’t worry, you can sign off anytime if you feel like this is not really for you… Or if you land a job you love!

First things first. This is not a job board. I repeat, THIS IS NOT A JOB BOARD. There are many of those out there and my point with this is not to advertise positions, but help you through the process of discovery your strengths and the job that suits you the best. If that interests you, great! You are in the right place. Let’s start?

A little introduction is in order, don’t you think? My name is Natasha Leite and I’m from Brazil. I am not a HR manager in any shape of form. My background is Law and International Relations, I have a MA in Conflict, Security and Development and I have worked for many organisations during the last 9 years on issues of Governance and Citizen Security in Latin America, the Caribbean, Africa and Asia.

So… How do you think I can help, you ask? That’s a pretty good question. I’ll let you on a little secret. I have never been unemployed for over a month. Never. Yet, I have plenty of my IR/CSD friends struggling to find a job. A lot of people going for PhDs and civil service because it seems like the “safest” bet. Am I smarter or more qualified than they are? As much as I would like to think so, that it’s simply not true. It’s almost an endemic problem within how our programmes are structured; our personal profiles and how are choices are presented to us. That sounded a little cryptic? Good. I want to keep you hooked for the next weeks. 😉

Basically, I am using my own job-hunting background, my friends’ failures and successes and my experience as a panellist in UN recruitment processes to help you understand what will be the best way to get into a career path you are excited about. This will not be a passive process, though. I will engage in some serious questioning of your purpose and your interest on this field. This will never be to undermine your confidence or belittle your reasons for wanting to work in international development, however you do have to be ready to justify your motivations to a future employer or even to yourself when a rejection letter arrives. Most students are only asked that when they are starting their majors and after that they end up focussing on getting through a class, finishing a paper and getting to the UN or on that said rejection letter. If that was you… Or still is… I can already tell you, part of the issue is you are focusing on the wrong things. Don’t worry, that’s easily fixed.

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