A subscriber has an interesting question: they were in ICT4D before, then left to start a business that while in international development, was not a technology company. Now they are wondering how to return to ICT4D and the roles they should apply for.
First: What Do You Want to Do?
I think the hardest part of a job search is figuring out what you want to do. The role, responsibilities, work culture, and experiences that will make you happy. I’ve found that writing it all down and ranking what matters can really help you narrow down your focus.
This is the first task, because you don’t want to do a job search just to get a job you wind up hating. I’ve done that twice now – its not fun.
Next: What Are Your Transferable Skills
The person writing in realized they wanted to lead an ICT4D team, so next up was to think through all the skills and experience needed to lead a team and then to find examples of that leadership in their present work.
For this person, that was easy – they were managing a team and often had to overcome technology problems to get their product to the right market in the way their customers wanted. So they can list out those experiences in their CV with the right emphasis for each employer’s desires.
Finally: Who Do You Know?
For better or worse, ICT4D is a very small field and getting in by a recommendation, referral, or direct friendship is always faster than blindly applying to job ads (including those in our jobs newsletter).
In fact, you should use job ads as a rough gauge of which organizations are hiring and what they looking for, and then start informational interviewing your way into their social/professional networks. You want to be known before you apply.
For this person, they can start with the people they knew in ICT4D from before they left, and build their network from there. They are not in the USA currently, which does pose a slight barrier, but thankfully we have Skype, Zoom, WhatsApp and whole slew of connectivity options for them.
Their job search will not be easy. No job search is ever easy. Its a long, hard, slog with many questions. Ask your questions now!