You are not the only one seeking to improve your ICT4D career. We all are. I’m happy to announce that I’m switching jobs too. I’m leaving FHI 360 in December to be the ICT4D lead at the International Rice Research Institute (IRRI) based in Los Baños, Philippines in January 2017.
I’m really excited about this new role, and I’d like to share the 3-step process by which I got it, so we can all learn from the experience.
1. I am known by my peers
This was a new role for IRRI, so they hired a recruiter to find the best candidate. Apparently multiple people told the recruiter to call me. That was a great honor, earned by years of networking.
2. I was gracious and helpful
The first time the recruiter called to ask about my interest in the role, I demurred and sent him on to others I thought might be interested.
It turns out that many of those I suggested actually recommended the recruiter call me back and try again. This is a double honor, born from years of helping others get their dream job.
3. I worked my network like mad
Once I decided I was interested, I used my network to make sure I would want the job, and to build a list of high-quality references. Many of those references, when they heard I was applying for the position, took it upon themselves to send in unsolicited recommendations to people they knew at IRRI.
Those unsolicited references helped my candidacy immensely and were the direct result of both being good at what I do, and always, always helping my friends when they needed something.
The Key Takeaway: Network, Network, Network
My journey is yet another proof point that its not always what you know, but who you know that can lead to a new job. So please stop sending out endless CV’s to random positions you see on the Internet (including those below).
Instead, invest in informational interviews. Invest in building a maintaining a network. And then, when you hear of a position you want, use that network to make sure the hiring organization wants you as much as you want them.
It feels like a longer, harder path, and it can be, but it is the one that leads to a new you.