How to infiltrate the NGO Job Market

How to Infiltrate the NGO Job Market

Main takeaways:  

  • Working for an NGO can be fascinating and rewarding, but it has become increasingly competitive to break into.
  • Finding a job in Brussels is not as straightforward as it may be in other cities in Europe. Our speaker shared her experience and insight in trying to infiltrate the NGO job market.
  • Job sites recommended by the speaker: EURACTIV, EUROBRUSSEL, RELIEFWEB, LinkedIn Job Alert, and the social media pages of specific NGOs.
  • Types of jobs in an NGO
    • Fundraising/Acquisition/Partnerships
    • Policy and Advocacy
    • Social Media/Communications
    • Administration/Finance/HR
  • Cross-cutting skills needed in the NGO Bubble
    • Languages (English, French, others depending on the NGOs)
    • “Can do” attitude
    • Teamwork
  • Networking can be useful but one needs to be careful.

On 16 March, YPFP hosted a Tools of the Trade Series event 'How to infiltrate the NGO job market'. The event was moderated by Janti van den Heuvel, Tools of the Trade Series Officer, who was joined by Carmen Garille de Miguel, EU Partnership Specialist at the NGO World Vision.

Carmen Garille de Miguel's short presentation outlined tips and tricks for finding a job in the NGO job market. She briefly explained her role at World Vision and the advantages of working for a Brussels-based NGO. As the title suggests, she shared her experience of finding a job in the NGO job market by recommending different job sites, explaining the types of jobs in an NGO, the cross-cutting skills needed to get a job, and her insight into the benefits of networking. Networking is useful, but you have to be careful and not be a 'shark' when making contacts. The do's and don'ts of applying for a job in the NGO world were also shared.
Carmen Garille de Miguel's advice is to keep developing one's skills and not to be too hard on oneself. Joining groups/societies and volunteering are also recommended.

In the Q&A session, the tips and tricks of applying for jobs through LinkedIn were discussed. One of the audience shared his concerns about mastering languages, where our speaker reassured him that one should always try.

Written by Janti van den Heuvel, Tools of the Trade Programmes Officer, YPFP Brussels