What to do? A request for career advice!

Decisions about what to do career-wise are seldom easy.  My time with DFID Ethiopia comes to an end at the end of May. It’s been great.  I did have a job to go back to at ODI, but I’ve decided not to take that option.

There are a number of factors to consider, some of which don’t feature below despite being particularly important (Hello Amanda!), and time-scales to play with. I’ve come up with criteria, scoring systems and weighting systems that are too embarrassing for public consumption. However, I thought it would be good to get some advice from the friends and colleagues and fellow development wonks who occasionally have a look at my blog.

I’ve whittled it down to three simple questions:

  • What would be the most interesting thing to do?
  • What would be the best thing to do in terms of learning new stuff? (I like learning new stuff, and it looks good on my CV … a CV which is a bit short on long-term developing country experience)
  • What would be the most useful thing to do? (my goal is to contribute to global poverty reduction – yeah, I know it might sound crazy …)

I’m happy to take suggestions as to better questions to ask, but those three will do for now.

In terms of options, let’s keep that simple too for now. Some of this is slightly wishful thinking, but let’s say that I have 4 options:

  • Option A, doing policy-relevant research at a place like ODI, in the developed world.
  • Option B, doing a policy job at a development agency in the UK.
  • Option C, being a governance adviser in a development agency’s country office.
  • Option D, being a UK-based freelance development consultant (perhaps while I decide amongst A, B and C)

What do you reckon? With those criteria and those options, what should I go for? Putting voting buttons on my blog is beyond me, but if you have any thoughts please do drop me a line or add a comment!

If you’ve got other options that I should be considering, don’t hesitate to drop me a line. I’m available for weddings, christenings, barmitzvahs, and short or long-term consultancies on governance and accountability 😉

2 thoughts on “What to do? A request for career advice!”

  1. Ha! I recently did a similar absurdly geeky scoring and weighting thing.

    My criteria excluded learning (which I think I will add) but included pay. Either I’m not as selfless as you or more honest!

    I’ll email you my spreadsheet.

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