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International development jobs come in many shapes and sizes. Abt’s Fleur Jackson explains how she broke into this in-demand sector

People find amazing jobs on EthicalJobs.com.au every day. This is part of a series of blog posts that go behind the scenes to meet some of the people and organisations finding each other through EthicalJobs.com.au.

Today’s story is from Fleur Jackson, who found her job as Talent Acquisition Administrator at Abt Associates on EthicalJobs.com.au.

Abt Associates is a “profit-for-purpose” organisation, and an engine for social impact, fueled by “caring, curiosity and cutting-edge research that moves people from vulnerability to security”. Whether it’s welfare or weather disasters, the environment or economics, agriculture or HIV and AIDS, Abt Associates focuses on addressing the world’s most pressing issues.

Starting out

My first paid job was at a local Woolworths as a Checkout Assistant just after my 15th birthday. There were other people I went to school with who were working there already, and I was very lucky to be one of five new staff chosen out of more than 25 applicants for that round. I worked two nights a week and then Saturday mornings and – I must say – I am still a very good grocery bag filler as I am pedantic about which items go next to one another so that nothing gets squashed!

I started studying at Griffith University when I was 23 (a mature-aged student apparently!) and did one year of a Bachelor of Arts, which I thoroughly enjoyed. One subject in my last semester called Introduction to Social Enterprise got me thinking about where I could see myself going, which led me to start an International Relations degree.

I am now completing a Master’s degree in International Studies at University of New England (UNE), which I hope to complete at the end of next year. My interest in world politics has led me to meet like-minded people that have an interest in developing strategies to solve the issues we face on a regional and global level.

Before Abt Associates, I worked for RSPCA QLD for about five years, moving from a volunteer role to being part of the customer service team and then moving into fundraising. It was a very interesting and rewarding journey and I worked with many other animal lovers who make a difference every day.


Working at Abt Associates

Abt Associates is a recognised leader in the international development sector and works with many different organisations to implement bold, innovative solutions to improve the lives and economic wellbeing of people worldwide. Abt provides many services, including policy and service delivery to the public and private sectors, contributing to long-term benefits for our clients and the communities we work with.

From one look through the website, I knew this was an organisation that I would feel proud to work with and be a part of. There are people who come from all over the world, with a vast array of skills and expertise in many different areas.

In my role, I am able to develop my knowledge of the international development sector as well as interact with like-minded people who feel empowered to make a difference. Profit-for-purpose is a perfect description of how Abt Associates works every day.

My role is Talent Acquisition Administrator. I assist with end-to-end recruitment for our head office in Brisbane – where I am located – our offices in Canberra and London, as well as provide support to the in-country teams throughout the Asia-Pacific.


Why work for a better world?

My aim has always been to work for NFPs or profit-for-purpose organisations as they align to my own personal values and I know that I am a part of something positive in the wider community.

If you find a role that gives you whole satisfaction and belief that you are having a positive impact, then I think you have found something great.

Keep striving to get the role you are passionate about. Do your research about organisations that are out there, contact people in your networks to find out what skills you can develop and build relationships from there.

Taking responsibility for your own career journey and having the initiative and confidence to move outside your comfort zone are the first steps to achieving your goals.


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