Working World: Careers in International Education, Exchange, and Development

By Sherry L. Muller; Mark Overmann | Go to book overview

Introduction
Idealists Preferred

For most of our adult lives, we spend more time at our workplaces than in our own homes. Pursuing a career means making a series of choices that determine what we do with most of our waking hours. Inevitably, each choice we make exacts a price. The key is to be as aware as we can possibly be—up front—of the trade-offs our choices generate.

Some people can be quite comfortable working within the large, elaborately structured bureaucracy of a government department or multinational organization. Others feel much more at home in a smaller, lessstructured nonprofit organization. For some, with pressing student loans or a family to support, financial compensation is a primary concern. For others, salary and benefits are trumped by additional considerations. There are no right or wrong answers here—-just the awareness that a job search requires engaging in serious reflection, knowing your preferences and predilections, and understanding the circumstances in which you do your best work.

The purpose of this book is to equip you to make good choices. Whether searching for that first entry-level job, making a midcareer change, or considering postretirement employment, it is vital that you make conscious choices and consider carefully the wide array of options within the fields of international education, exchange, and development.


PARAMETERS OF THE FIELDS

As the distinction between “domestic” and “international” becomes increasingly anachronistic, a precise definition of what constitutes a career in these fields is elusive. The fields are amorphous, constantly changing, resettling, then shifting again. The basic assumption of this book is that international education, exchange, and development involve moving

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