Transferable Skills of Aid Workers 1 – Coping with Uncertainty

In my coaching sessions, I experience again and again how insecure humanitarian workers are when it comes to the question of whether they have any skills that they could use in another industry.

My answer is always: “Of course! You have shown so many transferable skills that one looks for in the corporate world that you don’t have to worry about that.”

At first, I’m usually looked at in disbelief, then, after a moment, usually a smile appears on my coachee’s face, and I know the penny dropped.

Therefore, in the coming weeks, I will share the transferable skills that we demonstrate in humanitarian action every day, often without realizing it.

I’ll start with what is perhaps the most important transferable skill today: dealing with uncertainty.

If you have learned anything in providing humanitarian aid, it’s how to deal with uncertainty.

As an aid worker, you are used to working and living in places where things can change in a moment.

Again and again, you face new challenges and have to make decisions, often without knowing all the necessary information.

That is a very important transferrable skill that you can use in any job.

Plus, it shows that you have the guts to act even when faced with the unknown.

That is something most other people don´t have.

So, cherish the fact that you are different, and let your potential employers know


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