International Experience from National Colleagues
The Good, The Bad and The Ugly
In recognizing that many national staff working for the United Nations in Bhutan are keen on pursuing international assignment to enhance their career, the Resident Coordinator’s Office took the opportunity to invite two UN national staff who have been on international assignments over a brown bag lunch session to share their experiences with the staff in the IN House on April 6, 2018.
The talk was titled ‘International Experience from National Colleagues; The Good, The Bad and The Ugly.’
The first speaker was Kinlay Penjor. He worked at the UNICEF Bhutan Country Office. Currently he is working as a Planning, Monitoring and Evaluation Specialist at the UNICEF Yemen Country Office since September 2014.
The second speaker was Choney Lhazom Wangchuck, currently working as the HR Associate with UNDP Bhutan Country Office. She was on a detailed assignment from September to December in 2017 in Erbil, Iraq working as a HR Analyst.
As a satirical narration on the experiences of the good, the bad and the ugly that stood in their way of personal and professional success took shape, the conversation was followed by a series of questions and answers.
Both the speakers and the audience remained engaged in a very enriching conversation. More minds became open to taking the next big step in their career by taking up an international assignment in their future.
They shared about the various hardship that they faced being away from home in a foreign country where their safety remained a question every single minute of the day. While they did stress on the financial benefits they received to support their family back home, they both agreed that it was an eye-opening experience and that it has helped them grow in every aspect of their lives.
Kinlay Penjor said that fully embracing a career as an international staff also means adopting a certain lifestyle. “It not only affects you but it affects the entire family,” said Kinlay Penjor. “And they may not be always entirely happy about this transition.”
He also highlighted about the huge importance of networking as one of the essential aspects for future job opportunities as an international staff.
Choney Lhazom Wangchuk reminded that one needs to be mentally and physically prepared to be working in a difficult duty station like Iraq where she was at. She advised that being prepared before moving to a new location by reading about the work, place, people, culture and weather helps one to be equipped to face the new environment and manage stress.
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