"HEAVY" DUTY STATIONS

Discuss different duty stations including living conditions, where to find what, advantages and disadvantage here.
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UnitedCandidates
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"HEAVY" DUTY STATIONS

Post by UnitedCandidates » 25 Apr 2019, 01:14

Hi folks!

Long time no see..!

I was wondering how one manage to have a balance between the work in a "heavy" duty station (No family allowed, with danger pay, etc) and one's social life + family...

2 questions about that:

1) How often the staff (P2 to P4) can be outside for city/country on the weekends? Is it ok to place the family to a safer country and visit them on the weekends or this is a difficult task/not seen with good eyes by the higher managers?

2) Is it a good strategy to enter the UN? By that I mean: Starting in a dangerous location count some good points for future jobs?

H.O.P
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Re: "HEAVY" DUTY STATIONS

Post by H.O.P » 25 Apr 2019, 09:26

For someone in a hardship,non-family duty station, I can tell you this, going out of the duty station is not that “easy”. Like in your case, going every weekend.
I will use my duty station for example, before I can leave my duty station, I need to apply for leave and do a security clearance. I can’t just up and leave on weekends. If you’ve got to rely on the UN aircraft to take you to a location where commercial flights are available, like in my case, that’s even more complicated.
However, I do know P staff who move their family to a closer country that is family friendly, but, this is usually just for ease of travel and not really frequency. They don’t have to fly so far all the time and can even applying for short leave is easier as they will travel for less time.
But people generally manage, it’s quite hard on families, it is hard for mine, but, I am not planning to spend above a particular number of year (s) there. Every family is different, so also is the threshold of what they can suffer.

UnitedCandidates
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Re: "HEAVY" DUTY STATIONS

Post by UnitedCandidates » 27 Apr 2019, 01:34

Thanks for your reply!

I was studying the rules... found something about "Rest & Recuperation" (https://icsc.un.org/Home/RestRecuperation)...

So it seems that some duty stations you have a rotational period for rest... (after 6 to 12 weeks working, you can go to a "rest city" and stay there for 5 days).

I still have some questions on these...I'd be glad if you could share your thoughts..

1) What usually happens on the weekends? Is it full-time working just like the weekdays? Or there is some UN structure on site that allow some decent rest?
2) Depending on the situation I could still left the country for visiting family without using the rest and recuperation asset?
3) What is the general thought about those hard duty stations? People usually avoid them so It could be a better entrance in the UN system or people usually go for it?

I know it's too many questions..

I appreciate your and everybody's help!


Cheers,

Take Care!

H.O.P
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Re: "HEAVY" DUTY STATIONS

Post by H.O.P » 27 Apr 2019, 06:39

I will try to provide some insight for you using my current situation. I am in a duty station where RnR is due every 6 weeks. Some people use this and some don’t. Some wait until 8 weeks. I and some other people I know, usually take it and add some annual leave days so we can fly home, instead of going to the RnR city (you cover the costs of RnR yourself in my duty station, the UN flight only takes you to the RnR recommended city). Now to your other questions:
1) I work in a high stress position that requires you work round the clock. I’m literally working everyday of the week and late into the night too. Some people don’t have this kind of job, so they tend to relax more on weekends. But, relaxation is relative. I’m posted in the Field. There’s nothing there. Only one centre that functions as a go to all place. There’s really nothing to buy there. In fact people only like this place because they’re able to save a lot of money (absolutely nothing to spend money on). If you don’t cook, it’s a big problem, because the cafeteria can put one off (I don’t manage it that way). Same meal and eating time is very limited. If you’re late, no food for you.
2) Like I mentioned before, if you’re in the Field, you can’t just up and leave. It can get complicated. See my initial answer.
3) Depending on who. Most of the people I work with have been in several hardship stations. In fact, most of them have only hardship stations in their UN Career and are not looking to leave. People like me, are doing it for the professional experience and a way to move forward in the UN. While some people actually avoid it, especially when they come and experience it and it’s too tough for them. To tell you the truth, being in duty stations like mine is a really tough life. Some days I feel too exhausted with it, but I push forward because I actually do enjoy my job a lot. I don’t like the living condition, but my job and colleagues make me cope with it. It’s an experience I will tell everyone to try and have, if you don’t like it, you can resign, but it’s an eye opener and no one can really explain the details to you.

UnitedCandidates
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Re: "HEAVY" DUTY STATIONS

Post by UnitedCandidates » 01 May 2019, 02:13

I could not have a better answer! Thank you a lot, you were fantastic.

Hope to find you in the field in the near future.

Take care! Cheers!

H.O.P
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Re: "HEAVY" DUTY STATIONS

Post by H.O.P » 01 May 2019, 09:38

UnitedCandidates wrote:
01 May 2019, 02:13
I could not have a better answer! Thank you a lot, you were fantastic.

Hope to find you in the field in the near future.

Take care! Cheers!
Hope to see you too!

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