Back when I started looking for a job in development, I spent months searching, networking, and applying, only to drain my savings to almost nothing before finding that next position to grow my career.
It was a tough time, with little hope.
I almost came to regret studying a degree in international development that wasn't giving me the chance to break in.
I tried every strategy out there...
Found and paid a career coach? Yes, I did that, filled out useless self-surveys to "know myself better", and only managed to lose a lot of money and get nowhere.
Got my CV professionally written? Been there and done that, too. All they did was change some keywords and the template. Number of new jobs won? Zero.
Built my network? This made a huge difference - but only when I slowly built authentic and genuine relationships with other professionals over months and years. No one EVER gave me a job just because they were in my network.
Googled for CV templates, interview tips, and networking strategies? Google is a good friend—but NOT for finding a great development sector job! I wasted countless hours reading tips that work for the PRIVATE sector, and not for development.
Sat in a comfortable job and watched colleague after colleague get exciting new opportunities, with more responsibility and pay? Sadly, I did a lot of this. In the meanwhile, I knew I had hit the ceiling of how far I could grow in my current job and organization.
I just didn't know how to find that next job that would give me MY CHANCE.
So I kept applying to new job opportunities that would excite me. But it was like going in blind, crossing your fingers and clicking send.
I had no idea what to say to make myself stand-out and show how ready I was to get to the next level.
Despite my postgraduate degrees, internships and certifications:
NO ONE HAD EVER TAUGHT ME HOW TO GET A JOB IN THE REAL-WORLD!