Do I have what it takes?

First of all I would like to thank each and every one you for all the positive feedback from my first blog post. Your support means a huge amount to me!

I have been seeking the answers to a few questions including:

  • What does being an aid working mean?
  • Could I actually do it?
  • How do I become an aid worker?

I have spent the last few days reading various blog posts, and stories from people who have done aid work in one way or another, gone from full time jobs, have families, yet still undertaken the path of aid work.

One thing I knew when I was thinking about pursuing this was that not all aid working is easy, fluffy and completely full of happy times. Being an aid worker I don’t believe for one second is going to be easy, you would have to be very naive to think it would be!

The truth is you have to deal with some very difficult situations, whether its disaster aid where you are in an area of the world recovering from a natural or man made disaster or development aid where you are working with communities helping them build sustainable living where living conditions are hard. Also it involves a lot of hard work which will often involves working 7 days a week with little recreational downtime and having to deal with sights and situations which will be hard emotionally to deal with.

This brings me to the topic of ‘Can I do it?’. This is a two fold question, I have spent a lot of time over many years thinking about the answer to this question, I am quite a sensitive person but I am good at hiding emotions and dealing with issues at hand.  I am often called a bit of a workaholic, I don’t like idle time, so the amount of work which would be required is not an issue for me. Can I survive in places with little running clean water? and basic food supplies? Yes and Yes! I would have no problems and consider myself good at being able to adjust to any environment.  The other side of this question is the areas out of my control, like would someone hire me? This leads on the the last question I want to approach in this blog ‘How do I become an aid worker?’

I left college with a BTEC Diploma and entered my job.  I never went to university, I have always been a more ‘hands-on’ learner and I’m quick and picking things up, and learning new skills, but how would this trait help me in my Journey, would this pose to be a huge hill to get over? only time would tell. It’s going to be a lot of hard work, I have seen a lot of mentions about networking, key skills, degrees in required subjects. Seeing the mention of degrees worries me.

Networking is definitely something I can work on, and I will be looking at conferences I can attend, contacting people who are aid workers seeking advice and also some charities to find out what they would require from me.

As more questions get answered, more questions require answering and I become more committed to getting to the end of this Journey!

Dan. :)

6 thoughts on “Do I have what it takes?

  1. Knowing you as well as I do certainly believe that given the opportunity to become a humanitarian aid worker i think that you would succeed in that role very well, possibly my only concern would be will you be able to give up everything that you have worked for in the last few years. Certainly the notion of a humanitarian aid worker does appear to be a very noble and giving proffession.

    • You do know me very well, and the only thing I would be giving up is my career, but I honestly feel the benefits outweigh any negative points.

  2. I think the degree thing you won’t have to worry so much about, I’m sure it won’t be a barrier to getting you foot in the doorway, and one you get in (through networking) your experience, skills and enthusiasm should get you moving up :)

    • I’m kinda hoping this will be the case, I’m not planning on letting it get in the way :) Thanks for your kind words!

  3. Interesting to read both of your blogs, keep them coming!

    It takes alot for someone to put a career aside and say, “I want to go help other people!” especially when you have a few financial concens.

    It comes a suprise to me that its hard to get you foot in the door. I volunteered for young homeless people, in Newcastle upon Tyne from 2002 until 2005 for the Children Society. That was great and very rewarding, not just the satisfaction of making positive changes, but also the skills I gained, now I secure International deals for automotive firms.

    Concern: Always put your own health (both mental and physical) first. You can’t help other people if your burned out or ill!

    Good luck, make sure you can cover yourself financially then take the bull by the horns. Go into 100% and show the same loyalty as you have to IT and im sure you can not only succeed but make a difference.



    • Thank your comment Paul. Its really good to read that while volunteering for 3 years for what sounds like a great cause you yourself got so much out of it and you were able to learn many life skills you were about to take onto you career.

      Your concerns are very valid, I am aware that this journey I have decided to take will hold many sacrifices, all of which I am confident I can make. As for my health I wouldn’t continue this if I felt that I wasn’t both mentally and physically up for it. The next blog post will be coming very soon and a few of the areas you brought up will be covered over the next few posts.

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