How to make a difference globally from anywhere — is it possible to build a flex-place human rights career?
Recently, a student came to me to discuss professional options and future plans. This student wanted to know about how to have a professional life that would build on his education in human rights, allow him to pursue his passions, and impact the world in a positive way, while at the same time not being forced to chase jobs or travel away from home in Canada for long periods and/or uproot his young family. He claimed not to want to work for a bureaucracy, and he didn’t want to be limited to local opportunities; rather, he wondered if there was a way to pursue a ‘global’ career without needing to uproot his family even once.
My thought is that in this world of electronic communication and flex-place opportunities, there must be many options available for a smart person to create a career working from any location and contributing to the betterment of policy, social understanding, and individual lives. If there can be on-line mediation, there must be a possibility of impactful distance human rights work (research, policy analysis, etc.), even when there are no employers within the city one lives.
The aim of the Human Rights Flex-Place Work Project is to collect stories and advice from people who have pursued a career in human rights that is not location-specific (either living in a city but working on issues the impact of which is meant to reverberate far away, or moving for reasons other than one’s own career and working globally on projects that are not tied to the location in which the person is living). If flex-place employment is the new frontier, there must be room for flex-place human rights work. Help me show this student and others what is possible.
If you have a story of your own experience or the experience of others, please share. If you know of job sites that offer such opportunities, please share. If you have advice, please share. If you have questions that others might be able to answer, please share these also. At first, comments can be sent directly to firstname.lastname@example.org (and I will upload them here) or shared via the comments box. The plan, if there is sufficient material and interest, is to make a more permanent and accessible resource.
Thank you for your help.
For first comments, please see: The Human Rights Flex-Place Work Project.
Please join the conversation!