Recently, two heavyweights in the aid & development online community, and respected professionals in their own right, posted reflections on why they work in the sector. This was followed by very reluctant, but wise advice from Dave Algoso (who wrote ‘Career advice (from people smarter than me’ on whydev for us). I highly recommend that you read what they have to say (the symmetry of their titles is beautiful):
Rather than write a post of my own reflection (which would be called ‘Electrify‘), I want to open this thread of introspection to you. Why do you work in aid and development? Or, if you are not yet working, why are you studying for your MA in Development Studies or similar? Why are you currently volunteering at [large or small NGO]? To quip, why dev?
We often hear from, and read, the same bloggers. But, rarely do we hear from other voices. From you. Occasionally, you make a comment, post a link on Facebook or hire an airplane to write a message of smoke in the sky.
So, read the above posts. Think about Dave Algoso’s two sub-rules about knowing yourself: 1) Know what you value; 2) Know what you are good at. And, let ourselves and others know why you do what you do. If anything, such introspective writing will help you at your next job interview.
I also highly recommend reading:
- What David Foster taught me about development: by Weh Yeoh
- Aid worker: first, know thyself: by Jennifer Lentfer