REWARDING CAREERS WITH NGOS: HOW THE DEVELOPMENT WORKS

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By Ishaqur Rahman and Nakibul Hoq

It is perhaps difficult and mostly improbable to perceive whether any job can be as satisfying as one that relies mainly on contributing towards others. It is widely perceived by most of the people that jobs in the non-profit sector are low-paying and less easy to maintain when it comes to achieving an effective work-life balance. After all, the majority of jobs in this field involve relocating to a new place—usually a rural area—-and helping the natives there to develop their society and to attain greater knowledge. However the pay, the career and the overall lifetime of a job in this field should help people look past the minor deficiencies.

Contrary to popular belief, remunerations in this field are quite similar to most other entry level jobs; generally starting from a mediocre Taka 15,000 or 20,000 and depending on the post one is applying for. Mid-level jobs boast a salary of Taka 21,000 to 24,000 per month, which can be considered quite high considering most mid-level jobs that pay equivalent or similar amounts.
One of the best advantages of working at an NGO would be relocation. Yes, one might have to live apart from his or her family but most, if not all, enjoy being in a different place amidst different people. You get your own flat or house located near the site where you will work at and you will also be provided with compensation for your food and travelling expenditures. You will also get a personal car for transportation from one part of the region to another.

Sabbir Hossain Kadri, former employee at CARE, mentioned that it was a very positive experience being posted at Dinajpur for almost 7 years while he was at CARE. He was not only provided with remunerations but also with a great place to stay and all of his expenditures including for food and furniture were paid for by the company. The house was spacious so his family could also live with him during vacations and there were guest rooms for guests.

From lower level to higher level employees, most, if not all, receive 50% bonuses on both Eids, surmounting to a total of 100% bonus over the year and also a provident fund from the very beginning of his or her tenure. This is higher than what many companies are often willing to offer.

Besides, the advantage of annually earning more than most other mid-level jobs or even some entry-level jobs is a good reason behind choosing a career in this field, while the diverse choices one faces is yet another exciting aspect of this sector. The field of development sectors and NGOs is rapidly growing and evolving, given the rapid evolution of this field that seems highly likely over the next 10 years.

The development sector in particular does receive many plaudits for its rapid evolution into a highly demanding career path that most graduates with Economics as a major often tend to head for. Not only is a career in this line one that will progress rapidly, but there is also a lot of scope for development and learning here. Most individuals, who set out on this path, emerge from the other side as highly knowledgeable. They need to be curious problem-solvers who can think analytically and reach the possible optimum.
One must also understand that non-profit companies are all learning organizations. Employees do not need to come here with top-notch grades or skills. What they must have is the curiosity, and the energy to work for the greater good. The more you learn through your jobs, the further you can advance in your career. Barbara Stocking, the former executive director of Oxfam, once mentioned how important it is to get into a job that is constantly developing as it acts as a catalyst to help us evolve and improve ourselves over the course of time.

It is however evident that employees in the development sector are never there for the money. While they do get attractive compensation packages and are expected to make the organization sustainable in the long run, people in organizations like BRAC are passionate about contributing towards the development of people.

Working in these non-profit NGOs does sound intriguing and enticing, but perhaps the most dominant feature and attraction behind the allure of getting a job in an NGO would be the fact that it has the ability to give us a voice. A job in an NGO all but guarantees us that our opinions and our voice matters, and that they do create an impact at the societal level.

Source: The Daily Star

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Nakibul Hoq is the Lead Manager, Content & Analytics for GradInsights, the career intelligence service of GradConnect. Ishaqur Rahman is an Associate, Content & Analytics, GradInsights. Please visit www.grad-insights.com for more articles.



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