How to Work Safely in a Conflict Zone

The call of duty attracts top talent from around the world to working in a conflict zone. The expectation to perform at a high level as a professional can be altered by the events that occur in your environment. To make the best of the experience, you need to mentally be prepared for conditions of working at a refugee camp, a location experiencing a natural disaster or a post-war situation.

WORKING ON SITE

Take Care of Your Finances

It is normal that you may have to send money back home if you have a family. One way for small businesses or independent contractors to use a secure online platform is using software like FreshBooks invoice tool. It is a safer way than logging onto your online banking account, and payments or transfers can be sent to your loved ones back home.

Follow News Sites for Updates

You want to use news updates on the internet such as Google News to find out the latest events happening in your location. If you depend only on your employer or people in the community, it may not help you to be prepared if the worst-case scenario will happen. It will give you and your colleagues time to assess a situation after an event is published online to figure out next steps to ensure your safety.

Stay Active on Social Media

On the site of an area where a natural disaster hit, cell phone coverage can be obliterated. At times, the only means of communication you have is through the internet. You can stay in touch with family and friends for them to keep tabs on your well-being by publishing posts on social media on sites like Facebook and Twitter. It will help them to figure if you are safe in an area if they cannot reach you by phone.

Know Your Legal Rights

In a foreign location where conflict or oppression is familiar, it is essential to know your legal rights to protect yourself in a challenging situation. We recommend that you find out if there is a Human Rights Commission or Consulate located in this area that is designated to your home country. Before you accept a position, ask if the employer has information in the event you are assaulted or harassed by a local.

Learn the Language

If you did not have the time to learn a basic understanding of the language that is spoken in your new work location, you could learn from a colleague or someone that you trust in the community.

BEFORE YOU ARE APPLY    

As you continue your job search, here are a few tips to consider when deciding to work in a Conflict Zone.

Show the Recruiter You are Prepared

ON your resume, adding details about previous work environments that were fast-paced or stressful situation will be helpful to be called for a position. Your cover letter and resume need to showcase how you can work successfully under pressure with examples of how you were able to approach challenging situations. We recommend you add personal activities such as a yoga class you attend or a hobby for blogging because a recruiter will see you have an outlet to de-stress while you are not working.

Be Prepared for a Pay Decrease

The experience you gain working in a Conflict Zone will look good on your resume. However, the reality is some well-educated professionals accept minimal employee benefits or the income is not as competitive compared to working in your current city. Think of it to use your skills to help people in need. It is a job and at the same time a charitable act of your time to travel across the world to make a difference in people’s lives.

Be Active in the Community

One way to build trust with the community you are working in is to participate in extracurricular activities such as speaking with elders or prominent religious leaders. Help children feel safe by setting up teams to play sports or painting sessions with children and their families. While it is convenient to work and stay with your colleagues, you can learn a lot about new cultures as you build a rapport with people in the area.

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Makeda Waterman

Makeda Waterman is an online media journalist with a passion for helping people succeed in life. Outside of writing for The Huffington Post, she is a writing contributor for Glassdoor.com. She also runs an online marketing writing business.

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