« The price to pay | Main | Brazil Election Watch 2010 »

August 18, 2009



How about going to graduate school? I don't know if it is feasible now, especially from a financial point of view, but it could help push you into a more interesting career path. Personally, I still think you should consider law school. Writing, researching, giving advice... seems like a good fit. Good luck with your job search!

Eduardo Sant'Anna

Hi Rachel,

I agree with your approach and it seems you are going to the right direction.

However, I haven't seen you mention yet any concrete qualification or professional experience that you can easily show to potential employers. By qualifications I mean degrees, certifications, diplomas... By professional experience I mean being employed for x months/years doing what the vacancy you are applying for is all about.

I understand that your experience in various places in the world were very rewarding and you know you can be an asset to several organizations. However, companies require this type of "concrete proof" and in a market where competition is tough those who cannot demonstrate such points are often left behind. If you are hiring and have 1 vacancy and 200 people apply, then you need to eliminate CVs somehow. And I'm sure those without experience and/or qualification are the first to go... :-(

Maybe this is the point that is missing and you may need to give some focus on it, particularly qualifications.

Good luck!!



Move to Boston!

No seriously, I'll save you from my usual pitch to explore working with us (man, you ARE picky).

My wife got her masters from Harvard School of Public Health and is pretty connected in the the PH arena, and has worked in public health for a while now, pretty much entirely since she graduated undergrad, and would have lots to share.

If you love to write, write. You're good at it, and one of the dirtiest secrets of the office world is that NO ONE writes well. Seriously, it's kind of staggering.

- Christopher

Rio Gringa

Sonia, thanks! Grad school is a definite possibility, for sure.

Ed, that's part of my packaging problem. I've worked for a lot of great organizations doing a lot of different things, but a lot of them have to do with Latin America. I have plenty of skills and experience, but it doesn't always fit perfectly with where I'm applying.

Christopher, thanks so much! Don't worry, I haven't forgotten about you and I really appreciate it. The problem right now is logistics, especially since Eli is dealing with various job prospects here in New York. It's on our list of possibilities though! :)


What a great post. I am, and sure together with tons of your readers, cheering for you to get a job! Boa sorte!

gordon neufeld

why not start to help others find their opportunities in Latin America? You love it and you love giving advice. I suspect that a lot of people in universities in the US would like to have an experience in LAM but don't know how to get started etc. you could write a book, write a blog...also instead of asking for a job, ask for advice. The axiom is...ask for money, get advice. Ask for advice, get money. Make a list of 25 people you would like to ask advice on how to get a career going with your expertise. call them up and ask for their advice. This takes the pressure off of both parties and can lead to many possibilities...


Have you considered working for the New York Public Library?


Good luck Rachel!! I'm going to be starting the job search soon...unless I delay and go to grad school. Don't settle! I'm still optimistic that it is possible to have a job you enjoy... Well for now anyway :)

Maria Jose Uribe

I found your blog by accident, but I have to say I really liked it.
Have you thought about looking for a teaching job in other countries in South America? I teach EFL in Colombia. Teachers are always needed in this field. Think about it.

Rio Gringa

Hi all, thanks for your kind words and suggestions. They have all helped, and writing about this helped me reformulate my cover letter strategy. Valeu!


Saudações Rachel. Desde já desejo boa sorte na sua "caçada" =)

Bom... Pelo seu post, você poderia trabalhar na área de consultoria para empresas ou com pesquisa acadêmica.

Talvez tenha algo pra você aqui: http://www.blizzard.com/us/jobopp/. Não sei se é exatamente o que você curte, mas a empresa é legal e oferece todos aqueles benefícios (plano de saúde, plano dental, etc.)]

Quanto à pesquisa acadêmica, fala com o Alex "LLL" Castro. Ele adora o seu blog, e imagino que possa te ajudar em alguma coisa.

Espero ter ajudado =)


Rachel! Algumas outras dicas que talvez possam te ajudar.

1. Crie um resume no VisualCV (o legal dele é que dá pra incluir seu portofolio) e promova-o entre amigos, sites socias e de Network

2. Contate empresas e pessoas de HR por meios não convencionais, como o Twitter, Facebook, etc. Gosto muito do Linkedin pelos grupos e contatos, mas tambem tem o Meetup.com e outros desse estilo que promovem encontros em temas específicos.

4. Tente fazer algum trabalho voluntário onde possa conhecer outras pessoas e adquirir uma experiencia que voce acha que lhe falte. Ou, onde você possa estar em contato com a comunidade latina.

3. Acho que você se daria muito bem como escritora, então eu se fosse você, tentaria contatar publishers. Esse conselho de escrever um livro, não é má idéia. Você escreve muito bem e já é bastante conhecida na Net.

4. Por último, tente trabalhar por conta própria. O conselho de Rafael é ótimo. Tente se promover como consultora. Se quiser sociedade, mesmo que temporariamente (possível que ano que vem seja eu a que volte para a terra natal) fale comigo. A gente poderia trabalhar juntas dando aulas de idiomas, traduções, etc.

Um abraço e boa sorte!

Rio Gringa

Simone you are all kinds of awesome. I copied this into my "to do" list. :)

E obrigada Rafael! Dicas muito boas tb, estou pensando muito em como seria ser academica. :D


Tente a Kroll. É uma empresa de consultoria com um approach um pouco mais "informal" e que precisa de pessoas que saibam pesquisar e escrever muito bem. E que nao gostem de rotina.

Ernest Barteldes

Try your hand at freelancing. I am sure that youd be good at it. I know, there are no set hours and stuff like that, but I must say it is invigorating...


Rachael -

I agree with the others above that you should market your skills as a consultant. You may need to develop some technical skills - e.g market research with facts and figures. You could also find a brazilian partner to do this for you. You are the perfect person to 'decode' brazil for the outside world. However, to get paid to do this you will have to target organisations that want to sell into the Brazilian market or source products there.

If you are looking at the NGO or further study route, I think you should consider Boston or Washington DC. NY while diverse is more of a business town at the end of the day.

Partners in Health is organisation that you may be interested in: www.pih.org

Boa Sortes!


Based on your post, I really think that your passion is academic research.

Maybe you should contact some universities and check if they have any post-graduation scholarships in a particular area you are interested in. Maybe teaching, coaching or advising students...

It is very difficult to find any position at the moment (Europe, South and America (as you know), so I strongly disagree that this is the time to be picky. Maybe you should do some temping only to get some networking and maybe you can find an internal vacancy that suits your needs.

I have done it when I lived in London (as I had to pay rent so needed any job available) and it worked out.

I hope you guys find something soon.

Ray Adkins


You are definitely on the right track. Patience and persistence will get you there.

Good luck



i agree - patience and persistence are key.

you SHOULD be picky :)

i will continue to keep my ears to the ground for any relevant opportunities as well!

Verify your Comment

Previewing your Comment

This is only a preview. Your comment has not yet been posted.

Your comment could not be posted. Error type:
Your comment has been saved. Comments are moderated and will not appear until approved by the author. Post another comment

The letters and numbers you entered did not match the image. Please try again.

As a final step before posting your comment, enter the letters and numbers you see in the image below. This prevents automated programs from posting comments.

Having trouble reading this image? View an alternate.


Post a comment

Comments are moderated, and will not appear until the author has approved them.

Your Information

(Name and email address are required. Email address will not be displayed with the comment.)