Saving threatened habitats worldwide

Conservation jobs and the economic downturn

11 March, 2009 - 08:45 -- John Burton

The last couple of days have been taken up with interviews for a new member of staff to work in the World Land Trust's donations team. I find interviews very depressing, because so often I would like to offer nearly everyone we interview a job. This batch was no exception.

We had over 50 applicants, and even after weeding out around 20 who were not that suitable we were left with around 30 worthy of an interview, but had to reduce that number to a long-list of 10. And having interviewed those, it was really difficult, because if in fact we had only interviewed one applicant out of them, that person probably could have done the job very well. But we now have to select only 3 or 4 for a second interview, and that means that ultimately the rest will not get a job, and they are all a) such nice people, who want to work for charity, and understand what the WLT is trying to do, and b) all well qualified for the job.

Maybe it's the economic downturn, but what I found surprising is that despite this being a desk-based position, there are so many people keen to work for the World Land Trust. Which is just as well, because one of our fundamental beliefs is that we should not be sending managers overseas, we should be raising the funds here, and supporting local conservation organisations. We always work with local partners, who have the expertise needed to create protected areas that are beneficial not just to wildlife but also to local communities.

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