The United Nations Financial Dream Job


What is the perfect job in the financial sector? Would it be a high-ranking position in one of the big 5 banks? Overseeing one of the big credit card companies, like, say Visa or MasterCard? Whatever your financial dream job is, would you ever believe it could be on a global level?

For those in finance, it’s as much a part of their lives as those who choose to pursue politics or medicine. The past five years, however, have caused many to rethink exactly what their hopes are for their futures. It’s been a brutal time from an economic stance. College graduates are walking off the field after receiving their diplomas and into several years of battling student loan and credit card debt, often from their childhood bedrooms. For those who aren’t easily scared, the good news is as the economy continues to improve, so do the employment opportunities. In fact, in what some might call the dream employer, there are a few positions coming up for those with a financial background.

It’s not your typical researcher at Visa or numbers cruncher for MasterCard, but it is global. And while we never explore financial career opportunities, this one has so much potential and the candidates who are chosen will affect global financial policy. The United Nations is looking for financial civil servants. Here’s what we know –

United Nations Young Professionals Programme

The United Nations, in its efforts of finding the brightest financial minds, is on a mission for candidates ready to kickstart their careers on an international level. The Young Professionals Programme (YPP) is being touted as a “recruitment initiative”. Its purpose is pluck the best of the best via its entrance examination, conducted only once a year. It’s designed exclusively for young, “high caliber professionals across the globe”. Many of the biggest financial names began their careers with the UN. Make no mistake: this is a brutally competitive program.

So are you qualified? We went straight to the source to figure out what the minimum requirements were to apply for these very coveted roles. What we discovered follows.

  • Applicants must have at least a first level college degree
  • You must be 32 or younger as of December 31, 2013
  • Are you bi-lingual? Specifically, do you speak French and English?
  • Are you a national of a participating country?

Candidates must undergo rigorous examinations and only those from participating countries involved with that year’s recruitment are allowed to apply for consideration (it varies every year, but the U.S. is definitely part of this year’s efforts). Also, the United Nations makes available for staff members of the UN Secretariat who work within the confines of related categories within the General Service. The tests are designed to closely examine what the U.N. explains as, “substantive knowledge, analytical thinking, drafting abilities and international affairs”.

The posts are two year appointments with reviews to ensure the chosen candidate is eligible to continue in his or her appointment. In full disclosure, candidates should know that efforts to promote within the organization are the first priority. And don’t get too comfortable at your job in your first year, because after the initial 12 months, you’ll be transferred to your second assignment. Of course, that comes with training and an acclimation period. This is done for your benefit. The more versatile the chosen candidate is, the more opportunities are presented in the future. As the bulletin reads,

This will help you adapt and accelerate the learning period leading to productive work and job satisfaction as an international civil servant.

Money and Politics

The United Nations is where nations turn for help with the most difficult political and financial problems. Conflict, ending poverty, climate and environmental problems, human rights – these all fall under the UN. Part of what makes this particular position so fascinating is the realization that you could be working right next to someone who disarmed a child soldier six months ago or coordinated the release of hostages. This role will help fund those missions, along with a team of political, legal and financial staff.

From what we’ve learned, those who work within the confines of the UN change their roles fairly regularly, on geographic and administrative levels. For those who are looking for that kind of versatility and with the right qualifications, this could be where you start and finish your career. Not only that, but you’ll have 44,000 co-workers out of close to 200 member states. The cultures, diversity and backgrounds ensure an incredible and exciting job.

The UN Logistics

Now you know your co-workers will be from all corners of the world, here are a few more facts about the UN workforce: 67 percent of the workforce is men with 33 percent, naturally, being women. The vast majority of the workforce work in field operations and nearly 30 percent reporting each day to administrative offices around the world.

Let’s Talk Benefits

It’s all quite impressive, working for the UN, and offers a host of perks and benefits. A few of those include rental subsidies, dependency allowances, education grants, travel expenses when you relocate, hazard duty, hardship allowances and recreation breaks if you’re in stressful or hazardous areas.

Health insurance, retirement (after six months) and paid holidays – 10 each year – are also part of the package. Jaw dropping benefits, great salary opportunities and just think – you can pay off those student loans and credit card balances from college. We were able to locate a general idea of base salaries at the UN. It reads, verbatim and in U.S. dollars:

  • 37,000 – 80,000 for entry level professionals (P1 – P3)
  • 67,000 – 106,000 for mid-career professionals (P4 – P5)
  • 95,000 – 123,000 for senior level professionals (D1 – D2)

Finally, keep in mind the background and credit checks these types of positions require. Much the way the Secret Service digs deep into any candidate’s past, you can expect much of the same from the U.N. Does the word “Facebook” come to mind? If not, it should. These are the types of roles that people sacrifice part of their lives for, including the more public images most of us have these days.

You can visit the United Nations’ website for more information. If you apply, let us know. Share your experience with our readers.

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