How's the job search? Inspiring sometimes, frustrating other times... People seem to think it is easy - all you do is write cover letters and send resumes. Try to write more than three cover letters a day. And try to do that knowing that the people are probably not even going to respond. (And sometimes when they do, you talk to them and realize that you wouldn't want to work for/with them.) So when you get to this point, make sure there's something that will keep your self-esteem high enough, because this job search process isn't necessarily good for your self-esteem.
I've settled on three areas in which I'd want to work within the international development field. The major one is kids, and then women and HIV/AIDS. Of course, you can't separate them most of the time. (And by now I could probably give you a lecture on all the ways these topics are related.) But since the major area is children, I decided to contact all organizations in Pittsburgh that work with kids, to at least get an internship while I'm here. So far, I've met with one, tomorrow I'm meeting another one, so wish me luck. I bet there is some, somewhere. When I had my last interview I realized how passionate I get, without even trying, when it comes to working with children who haven't been so lucky in their lives as I - and many of you who read this - have been. Such work just makes so much sense to me.
And so I've been working on this - trying to get more relevant experience because finding the "real dream job" is hard. It's not that the jobs aren't out there. They are. It's just that there are probably too many people applying for the same position and without connections, it is hard. I met with an Egyptian lady who works for the World Bank the other day and she said - "There must be a ton of jobs in development, the world is falling apart." And I agree... She also listened to my story and told me that I should start my own NGO, that she thinks I can do it. I remember her words when my self-esteem goes down... :-)
So what's the plan? Well, the plan is to find a meaningful job, of course. Which might work and might not. Nobody knows. I'm not giving up, that's for sure. I'm going to give myself some time limit, though, and meanwhile I'll try to save as much money as possible so that when the time runs up, I have enough money to move. Somewhere. Probably to Africa. And make things happen. (Me and my friend are going to come up with a project. We both love Africa and kids and we both want to do something that helps kids. We have ideas and passion and I believe we can do it.)
PS: I might write about meeting "a senior human rights activist" I met the other day and the only advice he has for everyone. About getting the work permit. And about the things that seem to matter when looking for a job and when living somewhere. Let me know if you have any questions or something you'd want to read about