You may use this brief for informational, non-commercial purposes with
credit attribution: The Global Health Delivery Project, GHDonline.org,
May 16, 2016.
for more information.
Added on 16 May 2016
Last updated on 24 May 2016
Authors: Dr. Leckraj Amal Bholah and Naomi Muinga; Reviewed by Joaquin Blaya PhD
A discussion was started by a member who explained how difficult it was to find a job in Global Health (GH) and health IT despite having an advanced degree, and many members corroborated the reality that finding a job was difficult. The community responded with suggestions on both things to do as well as places to look for positions if you are starting off your career in international development.
Key Points: For job seekers
- First jobs can be in the area of Program Management/Admin and then you move into more content areas.
- Read and read widely (both News and scientific papers). Be informed about global health issues
- Find 2 primary mentors:
- A proximal mentor who you can talk to about how to best refine your skill-set and/or direct your inquiries (a few years older is good - in your field) find ways to help with research or talk about projects or higher contacts.
- A distal mentor who you can't really access (for now) someone who embodies the person/researcher you want to be in a few decades, they don't have to be in your field at all - just be inspiring to you - work to meet them on your merit.
- Volunteer in something that is related to what you want to do - HIV charities, Community Outreach, hospitals, etc. and keep engaged with varied types of people.
- Keep a regular schedule - this will be useful once you get a job to deal with people and maintain routine.
- Find smaller specific projects in the country/region that interest you. Filling out online applications all day and night for your first GH job is soul crushing - I had no hits with my experience, connections, education and publications and I applied over 500 times to a variety of things and had a professional company help edit my CV. Secondly, and more importantly, a higher position at a smaller local organization who may greatly benefit from your work and will allow you to grow and innovate as a GH practitioner more than a low position in a bureaucracy - prioritize those.
- Be willing to do more than the next person, your first job will define what you are capable of. Make it good and then things will open up for your next jobs naturally. Stay positive and make friends - although possibly less dramatic it's simply easier to succeed when people want you to succeed than succeeding when people want you to fail.
- Publish - write and publish things yourself when you can. If not start a Twitter account, read and re-tweet stuff that is good. In short participate in the GH landscape, ask questions, formulate informed opinions.
- Make connections and maintain a network. It’s not easy, it takes time, tact and luck.
- Try to meet with people and learn about what their organizations are doing for your own information and to see if the organization is for you or not. All they can say is no.
- Connections make you more of a known quantity to an interviewer and gives you a leg-up on the competition.
- All things being equal an organization will usually hire someone who is connected to or recommended by someone they know.
“ So make connections, a conversation is much easier than filling in a web form and it's much more enjoyable. (Read Dale Carnegie's classic book: How to win friends and influence people)”
Lists and links to job sites*
*These websites are suggestions from GHDonline community members and are not affiliated with GHDonline. Use of these services should be based on your own due diligence.
We end with this quote:
In short you will find your way if you really want to, but you will have to earn it, no one will give you something for free just cause you have a masters; except advice apparently. - Nicholas Connor
Key Resources: More job sites
Download: GlobalHealthWorklist.docx.pdf (179.3 KB)