I joined CDP at a rather difficult time in my life; I had just finished university, and had started a master’s degree immediately after graduation. I had no prior experience working, except for a brief internship during my 3rd year in college. My friends, who all entered the workforce before me, often talked of workplace horror stories; abusive hours, monster-bosses, toxic office-environments. But, they told me, the worst feeling they felt was the lack of purpose. The daily drudgery they faced, going through the motions to accomplish what they felt was meaningless work.
Thankfully, I never experienced anything similar in CDP. In fact, I experienced the opposite. In CDP, I found an environment that was professional but nurturing. I found work with a clear sense of purpose, as well as coworkers and superiors who valued creating a safe, healthy work-environment conducive to growth and development. I never feared going to the office, because I was always met by people who respected and prioritized each other’s health, welfare, and well-being.
For six months, I worked as a part-time research associate for the Research, Knowledge Exchange, and Management Team. I mainly conducted research on resilience, child protection, and other topics related to disaster risk reduction and management. I also helped document activities, joined field-work, and studied concepts and case studies that might be beneficial to the aims of the organization. I had never felt the lack of purpose many of my friends felt in their line of work, because the work I did in CDP was always directed towards clear goals; helping create resilient communities, developing capacities, and reducing vulnerabilities.
At a time when our country is especially vulnerable to numerous natural and human-induced hazards, CDP does work that isn’t just productive, but vital to national development and local sustainability. Though corporate work may seem much more tempting and profitable to other new-graduates, working at CDP offers something much more fruitful; the potential for continuous learning, and for building a safe, sustainable future for everyone.