Preface

Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, W and Development is intended to be a unique resource and a useful tool for job seekers in international affairs, particularly those interested in international education, exchange, and development. It is designed to streamline and clarify the initial stages of career research and help you put your job search in a broader perspective. The approaches and lessons shared throughout the book have evolved during the course of a rewarding career.

About thirty years ago, as a new director at the Institute of International Education (IIE), I was amazed by the many requests for "informational interviews" that I received from job hunters. In the intervening years, the requests grew exponentially. Motivated originally by a desire to save time while still providing sufficient help, in 1982 I initiated the Roundtables on Careers in International Education and Exchange.

These were not the first international career roundtables in the Washington, DC, area. In 1976, Geri Critchley, then codirector of the Experiment in International Living's Washington, DC, office, facilitated a weekly roundtable for job seekers. Several years later, Geri and Dick Irish (author of Go Hire Yourself an Employer) conducted monthly job conferences at the Trans Century Foundation.

Alex Patico and I conducted the IIE monthly roundtables for several years. In 1986, Archer Brown and Lorenda Schrader, at NAFSA: Association of International Educators, joined us by hosting the roundtables on alternate months.

Individuals seeking career guidance were invited to the IIE or NAFSA conference room on the third Thursday of each month. At the roundtable, each participant shared his or her educational and professional background and described the types of positions sought. Then the facilitators and fellow participants offered suggestions and contributed ideas for the job search. The roundtables proved much richer than one-on-one interviews because of the synergy that so many perspectives generated. A group inevitably has more knowledge of relevant job openings and successful job search tactics than one or two individuals. Collectively, roundtable participants could recommend more resources to explore and offer contrasting analyses of trends in the field. In addition, the participants did not feel so alone as they interacted with others who were going through the usually solitary activity of a job search.

I gradually realized that the roundtables were much more than a time-saving device for a new manager. They were a particularly useful mechanism for recruiting new staff as well as a tremendous source of information about job seekers, the job search process, and job opportunities in the fields of international education, exchange, and development. The practical ideas, down-to-earth suggestions, and diverse resources offered in my first book on careers, published by NAFSA in 1998, were based on my experiences in working with hundreds of job seekers in our field for more than fifteen years.

I presented that book to each intern at the National Council for International Visitors (NCIV) as a farewell gift and to other young people whom I wanted to encourage to enter these fields that I found so compelling. Years passed. My supply of books dwindled. Even before I gave the last of them away, I realized how outdated many of the resources had become. The need for a new book was great not only because of the way the internet had greatly altered the job search process, but also because the fields of international education, exchange, and development had expanded and evolved. In addition, there were other, more nuanced lessons about managing a career that I wanted to share.

Just as this determination to write a new career book blossomed, I was fortunate to have a young colleague on the NCIV staff who is an extraordinary writer. Mark has an agile mind, an ability to analyze his own experiences, and an engaging personality. Among other responsibilities at NCIV, he produced various publications and served as the editor of our newsletter. He was especially adept at keeping me on schedule in writing my monthly column for the NCIV Network News. I was consistently impressed by his editorial suggestions.

I must confess that my initial motivation in inviting Mark to coauthor this book was to keep him at NCIV as long as possible because he was so talented and he helped me be more productive. It was only later—after we started our active collaboration and the ideas ricocheted between us—that I perceived the real value of juxtaposing his perspective as a young professional with my career veteran voice.

One of our spirited discussions prompted our decision to include the profiles of outstanding professionals interspersed throughout part II. We realized that the book would be greatly enriched if we collected the views of others whose achievements we admired. We included highlights of their careers, and we asked them to distill lessons about networking, mentoring, and other topics that we discuss in part I.

Georgetown University Press published the first edition of Working World in 2008. Again, years passed. Changes abounded in the fields, in the use of social media, and in Mark's and my professional lives. The time was ripe for this second edition.

The book begins with some basic concepts to keep in mind as you develop your career philosophy and goals. The second section consists of selected resources that will help you plan the next steps of your job search. In between, you will find the profiles of potential role models. You can learn much from their impressive cumulative experience and reflections. The book is designed to be a coherent whole with each chapter building on the preceding one. However, you can also pick and choose, as each chapter is able to stand alone.

Mark and I welcome your comments as well as your recommendations and suggestions for additional resources to be included in future editions. We hope this book will help you chart your course and shape your career in these growing and increasingly challenging fields.

 
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