How to Find a Job Abroad in a Social Enterprise or NGO


If you are interested in making an impact on the world there are a ton of options out there for you to work abroad in a social enterprise or NGO.

Volunteer work is still one of the most popular ways to work abroad, and Social Enterprises/NGO’s are always looking for talented candidates.

Personally, I suggest by starting with a cause you are passionate about, and then searching for work accordingly from there.

Before we begin though, a disclaimer about volunteering or working with a Social Enterprise/NGO

Volunteering is Unsustainable

There are a lot of well-intentioned westerners out there who want to make an impact on the world…and for good reason. They see social injustice and want to do what they can.

So they volunteer. They volunteer as teachers, in hospitals, and in a variety of other capacities.

The unfortunate reality is that much of the work done in these circumstances is unsustainable.

The impact your work has lasts as long as you do. Once you leave, your work leaves with you. Projects are often left in the dust, never to be fully implemented again.

Why do I tell this? Not to discourage you from volunteering, no. I say this to encourage you rather, to take this work very seriously.

Choose a cause that deeply resonates with you and your history. If you’re going to volunteer get involved in something you can do for the rest of your life. Dedicate yourself to a cause.

Don’t be one of those people who volunteers for three months in Africa just so that they can put it on their resume.

Also in case you’re not already aware, a “Social enterprise”, in a nutshell, is a business whose primary goal is to make an impact, rather than making a profit.

Imagine a business that provides access to clean drinking water or education, but also makes money and is financially sustainable, rather than relying on grant-funding or donations in the way that non-profits do.

There are a ton of jobs in this field, especially in places like India, SE Asia, and Africa.

Choose Your Cause

So now back to the story of choosing your cause. What are you interested in? Here are some options to consider:

Clean Water/Access to water
Agricultural Technology
Clean Tech (Solar/Wind technology, Alternative energy)
Feeding the poor
Deforestation and wildlife preservation
General Social Enterprise
Impact Investment

I would suggest picking a topic in one of these categories, and then searching accordingly.

I like to break my hunt up into three parts 1) Websites to apply on (see more below), 2) Making connections 3) Having conversations.

If you are applying on websites, meeting new people who are knowledgeable on the subject that you want to learn, and are having conversations about potential job opportunities and ways to get involved, you’re 90% of the way to finding a job for yourself.

Websites with Jobs

Before you begin applying to jobs I suggest you check out two articles that will help you to effectively connect with companies.

1) How to generate referrals
2) Favorite resources for cold emailing

Both of these will put you well on your way to find a job abroad with a Social Enterprise or NGO.

Best of luck in your hunt from here!

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