The first thing to realize is that there are TONS different ways to work in the field of development. Depending on which you choose, you'll need to pursue a different course - as different job areas require different approaches, backgrounds, commitments, activities and so on.
To get a better idea of what kind of qualities you should bring to the table, Oxfam has put together an article that outlines the steps you can/should take to increase your chances of getting a foot in the door. From what sort of activities you should take part in at University, to what kind job areas are easier to get in to - it's all there.
To get started, consider this (it's particularly tricky but super helpful!): "Have a goal for what you want to do, that’s specific but not too specific. “I am interested in food security and emergency relief” has a good level of specificity. “I want to work for UNDP” is too specific. “I am interested in women’s empowerment, reproductive health, and community development” is too vague. There is kind of an art to this; basically you want to give people a sense of who you are and what you want. Too broad and they don’t have any sense of you. Too narrow and you’ve ruled out too many jobs. If you’re having trouble with this, it’s a good thing to talk over with a mentor.
Read the full article here.
If you are currently actively looking for a job in development, have a look at our guide to development jobs in Germany.
Originally publised April 3, 2015