How to Advance Your Career in the Public Sector & NGOs

When your work takes you into the local, state, or federal government sector or working for a not-for-profit or NGO, then your skill set and experience are necessarily different to the corporate world. Whether you wish to start a career in one of these areas or advance further with promotions and better job opportunities, then a clear-minded focus must be applied to get where you want to go.

Here are a few suggestions on ways to advance your career.

Volunteer Experience Abroad

People who wish to enter into the NGO field where agencies such as Oxfam or Unicef often go abroad providing aid during emergency situations, relevant foreign travel is a useful thing to have on your resume. There are many different ways to get involved here.

Items of interest to employers would include visits to foreign countries where local charities accept volunteers helping the local community for a few weeks at a time. Being able to show a keen interest in helping others and having some understanding of the world outside of US borders are useful for job applicants. Where your specialty is likely to be in education or human rights, having volunteered for NGOs or other related causes is likely to be noted in the plus column by interviewers.

Get Relevant Qualifications

The online master in public administration degree is a comprehensive program with a complex curriculum specifically designed to serve the public sector, not-for-profits, and NGOs. Students learn about fiscal management, safety in public, how the justice system works, the way that governments function, sustainable works programs, crisis management, and much more.

The purpose of the online MPA program is to allow students who may be unable to attend regular classes at a college to still complete an MPA degree. With this type of degree, a broader range of career advancement options becomes available to the graduate.

Attend Several Conferences

There are regular conferences focused on various levels of government and aid programs. Depending on where your specialty lies, attending a relevant conference is a great way to learn more and meet key players in these industries and sectors. It’s also quite possible to find people who later provide introductions and new job opportunities. You can look up the latest conferences for NGOs here, and local government ones are well publicized too.

Become a Fellow

Becoming a fellow is a way to get involved with interested groups that focus on government, non-profit, think tanks, and other areas of interest. Participants work to assist the fellowship in achieving their objectives in various ways. The experience of helping in this manner provides greater respectability for job applicants who demonstrate initiative by joining up. Valuable new experiences and additional training are often provided within fellowships, which help with a work role later.

Advancing your career in public service is not as difficult as it might seem. There are proven ways to approach it that increase the likelihood of future advancement when done the right way.


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Richard Morris

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