Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

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Xulimar
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Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by Xulimar » 26 Oct 2018, 19:04

Hi everybody and thanks for the opportunity to have this space.
i wanted to share my doubts with you and maybe be able to take more responsible and appropriate decision for my future..
I am currently a intern at UNHCR in Protection Unit, I had several years of experience on the field and in case management, also in some moderate conflict areas, than with refugees, prevention of violence and so on in different countries (especially Latina America), but i wanted to work with UNHCR so i accepted to be an intern, and luckily i am also paid for that, even if it's a little amount. My contract would expire end of December after 6 months, but there was the possibility to extend it for 2 more months and I took it in consideration, also talking with my boss, I also wanted to do my visa and try to stay where I am now and look for a job in UN or other good NGOs on the ground as I am enjoying the work and Protection is absolutely my field.
BUT ... incredibly that same week I received an offer for a job in another country (where I already lived and where I wish to come back), for a position as Project Coordinator (this was for an interview I had in April 2018!!!), well-paid and in Child Protection field. It is very interesting but 1) they are asking to leave my internship one month before, in December, and go there, but I did not see a contract until now (maybe soon they will send something but its like I had to say I am available before of seeing a contract!) 2) I am scared to leave the Protection work on the field and case management, what I mean by that is that the job they are offering is a very high position but it will be also (not just of course) fundraising and relations with donors....which i am not really enthusiastic about, 3) I would like to assure myself on the fact that I will be able to come back to "on the field Protection" one day.
My question is: will the fact that I live my UNHCR internship one month before of the total six months influence the possibility to come back to the agency one day? And also, do you think that I will be able to be considered for a UNHCR position one day after doing other kinds of job (which field is related though)?
I could take the risk and stay here and try to enter the system, i know UN will open vacancies here where I am but it's a risk and I also have economic issues and the will of starting with jobs that are equal to my experience..
Thanks in advance!!

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Sebastian
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Re: Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by Sebastian » 27 Oct 2018, 09:28

Xulimar wrote:
26 Oct 2018, 19:04
My question is: will the fact that I live my UNHCR internship one month before of the total six months influence the possibility to come back to the agency one day? And also, do you think that I will be able to be considered for a UNHCR position one day after doing other kinds of job (which field is related though)?
I could take the risk and stay here and try to enter the system, i know UN will open vacancies here where I am but it's a risk and I also have economic issues and the will of starting with jobs that are equal to my experience..
Thanks in advance!!
I think this is a difficult situation and ultimately you will need to find an answer that works best for you. However: I think it is very clear, understandable and obvious that if you get a job and there is a (short) overlap with the end of your internship that you would end this internship. I don't know of any good supervisor that would consider this a problem. In fact, it happens all the time with "real" jobs, too: if you get an offer that is better for you, you can move on. Of course this may be unpleasant for the team/unit that you are working in so I always advise colleagues to be fair, open and transparent and try to give as much advance notice as appropriate.

Last not least: I know that many future bosses can be very pushy in trying to get you to commit to an early entry of duty date. But in my experience it is often more cumbersome to go to the next candidate than to move the EOD date 1 month back...

Good luck and please update us, how things are going!
I'm Sebastian from the UN Job List. I know about the UN Job List and also a little about the UN in general.

Xulimar
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Re: Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by Xulimar » 27 Oct 2018, 16:36

Dear Sebastian thank you so much..
I have tried to tell them if i could start in January several times and it seemed fine at the beginning but the Country Rep said it is not about him but about the HQ, they want someone quickly( and at the end of the year i mean, it seems so strange to me) so we have been negotiating for weeks and than they were just saying that 1st of december is the date. Without any contract or written offer...i mean i am trusting them just because it's a big Ngo and they wouldn't have any reason to tell me this without real intentions but it's still absolutely difficult for me now to tell my UNHCR bosses that I quit one month before knowing i dont have seen no ToRs or salary for the job (but i talked about it with the Ngo by phone)
Dear Sebastian or users, what do you think of my other point, about leaving "pure" protection to do coordination job? would it be possible later to come to to Pure Protection in UNHCR or a intenrship is not enough? also considering that it depends on UNOPS, countries context, Visa, of they select Internationals for UNOPS or not...

Xulimar
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Re: Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by Xulimar » 28 Oct 2018, 15:59

is there some chance to correct the Post title?
others have some suggestions for my questions?

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Re: Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by Sebastian » 28 Oct 2018, 17:07

Xulimar wrote:
28 Oct 2018, 15:59
is there some chance to correct the Post title?
others have some suggestions for my questions?
What title would you like?
I'm Sebastian from the UN Job List. I know about the UN Job List and also a little about the UN in general.

Xulimar
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Re: Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by Xulimar » 28 Oct 2018, 19:34

I wrote it wrong, it should be "leaving.."

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Re: Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by Sebastian » 28 Oct 2018, 19:46

Xulimar wrote:
28 Oct 2018, 19:34
I wrote it wrong, it should be "leaving.."
Ah, of course - got it ;-)
I'm Sebastian from the UN Job List. I know about the UN Job List and also a little about the UN in general.

Xulimar
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Re: Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by Xulimar » 30 Oct 2018, 14:24

Dear all, i am so sorry to bother you but I have no idea what to do. The NGO that offered me the coordination job in another country (close by) has disappeared and never sent a mail with a written proposal. I didn't talk to my boss about the fact they want me to start on the 1 of december so i should live my internship contract one month before.
I am afraid the NGO will send something written (offer, salary etc) in weeks and it will be too late to tell my boss without consequences.
it is also that herr i see a lot of things moving in the UN and I know a lot of money and new vacancies will come in 2019 and it's hard to leqve knowing that I could do it.
Advices welcomed!!

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Re: Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by H.O.P » 30 Oct 2018, 16:40

Xulimar wrote:
30 Oct 2018, 14:24
Dear all, i am so sorry to bother you but I have no idea what to do. The NGO that offered me the coordination job in another country (close by) has disappeared and never sent a mail with a written proposal. I didn't talk to my boss about the fact they want me to start on the 1 of december so i should live my internship contract one month before.
I am afraid the NGO will send something written (offer, salary etc) in weeks and it will be too late to tell my boss without consequences.
it is also that herr i see a lot of things moving in the UN and I know a lot of money and new vacancies will come in 2019 and it's hard to leqve knowing that I could do it.
Advices welcomed!!
From your statements so far, you really want to be within the UN and you are already sensing that more opportunities could become available sometime soon, then you should probably risk it and stay within the system. But before you do this, you've got to consider your current working relationship now in the UN. Are you assigned to valuable tasks (some interns get lucky when the job they are given are really valuable)? Are you appreciated for the job you're doing now (I mean does the office recognise you and the work you're doing)? How are you with your supervisor/other superiors within the office? If these are positive answers, then you can probably risk remaining as an intern and when the vacancies open you could be considered for any of them.
But remember, the UN is a very tricky place, things could change so easily which can influence whether the vacancies will actually be opened and who will fill them. This is where the financial security your NGO job will offer you becomes really important ( I also noticed this is the major advantage for you here as you actually prefer your current task as an intern). It also boils down to how far can you go with little or no money. Good luck as you decide!

Xulimar
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Re: Leaving a UN internship for a NGO job?

Post by Xulimar » 30 Oct 2018, 20:31

Hi everybody, HOP thanks for your answer. It made me think. But i got a news: the written offer was just sent to me today and the payment is very, very good. It is just a 4 month offer for the moment, but the contract could be renewed later. TO me it's good that it's 4 months because that's a good time to understand if I like it or If i would rather come back to the country I am now and look for a job in protection here. About the tasks, this is coordination of projects, maintain institutional relationships (also with the UN, embassies and so on) in order to start new projects, so it is also a bit of fundraising (which no, i don't like at all), but i appreciate the organization and the projects they have, because it's also on protection (child) and human mobility I think.
So I am afraid of going too far from straight "Protection" work (which is my fav), and emergency and field work and case management, but at the same time If I am good enough at "selling" myself later maybe it won't be too risky. I mean i can sell my profile as coordination of project in child protection and not focus on the fundraising part. I am not in the position of refusing the offer right now, i can't, but of course it's not easy for me to think about doing that kind of job, and coordinating a team that already exists since years, btw.

About your point of me wanting to enter the UN at all costs, I don't think it's UN itself, but it's the Protection field that fascinates me. It could be with Norwegian Refugee Council, International Rescue Committee or other good NGOs (sometimes better than UN btw.....) and i would be very happy. I was told be some friends of one of these organizations (also a coordinator) that new vacancies will come and that i would fit the profile, so maybe if i had a chance with it i would accept, by they said they dont know when the vacancies would be posted.

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