The Benefits of Development Work

This is a non-exhaustive list of some of the possible benefits you may enjoy from working in international development. Some of these points will not be true of all jobs or countries, and you may not even regard all of these points as benefits.

Swimming in clear water

Photo credit: visualpanic

The work itself

“Making the world a better place” also known as reducing inequality
An honorable goal, but it’s important to realise that you are doing “altruistic” things because they make YOU feel good
Tangible nature of work
The results of your work are often visible and meaningful
Varied work
The work can be extremely diverse as you often have to play many roles and often involves fieldwork and travel

Aspects of the work

Diversity of the work
Particularly in NGOs
Mental challenge of the work
You can be faced with unique problems that call for a lot of initiative and imagination to be successful
Physical challenge of the work
Often stressful, with long hours and difficult conditions
Meeting high-end dignitaries
Self-importance/ego boost


Beautiful countries
Often work takes place in or near countries that are exclusive tourist destinations
Diverse cultures
Each country brings with it a set of traditions that is fascinating to learn about
Many countries have a unique language, allowing practice or development of new linguistic skills
Many of the focus countries have warm, sunny climates
Expatriate privileges
You are one of a small group, so you feel and may treated as “special”
Development community
You will also meet like-minded people from other countries doing the same as you
Lower costs of living
Many items are cheaper in developing countries

Job-related perks

Accommodation size and quality
Often superior to standards at home
Hardship bonuses
Some countries are considered challenging to live in, so you are remunerated appropriately
Travel expenses
Costs of travel back to your home country and sometimes an annual travel allowance
Courtesy vehicle
Some positions provide you with a car
Education of your kids is often covered
Domestic help
In many developing countries, hired help is very common and may be covered

Undoubtedly there are more benefits we haven’t covered, and if you have suggestions, we would love to add them.

Related Articles

One Response to “The Benefits of Development Work”

  1. Charles Kitamirike Says:

    international development jobs help in transferring knowledge and skills from one region to another.

    But in most cases,this has been enjoyed by learner fellows from developed countries to developing countries.

    However, while this has been going on, very few learned fellows developing countries get this opportunity to work in any other part of the world.

    such opportunities should be given to like Africans to and work in both developed and developing countries of the world.

    while a lot was mentioned, Cultural shocks should be taken into consideration

Have Your Say!

Do you disagree? Did we miss something? Do you have a question? Please leave a comment!