Development Alternatives Jobs & Careers in Bethesda, MD

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17 days ago

Market Intelligence Assistant (4)

DAI Bethesda, MD

This is a fulltime, professional position which will be working under the direction of the Market Intelligence Manager. The Assistant will support…

18 days ago

Associate Project Manager/Project Manager I/Project Manager II, Global (7-9)

DAI Bethesda, MD

This is a professional position providing home office financial, contractual, management and technical oversight of one or more field or home-office…

29 days ago

Senior PC Support Specialist (4)

DAI Bethesda, MD

_** The Senior PC Support Specialist resolves assigned requests under the following specific categories: * Ensuring our fleet of…

19 days ago

New Business Specialist II/ Senior/Principal New Business Specialist (9-11)

DAI Bethesda, MD

_** _Proposal Development_ According to the ebb and flow of the proposal process, is engaged in a…

30+ days ago

Associate Recruiter/Recruiter/Senior Recruiter, Global (6/7/8)

DAI Bethesda, MD

The Associate Recruiter/International Recruiter/Senior Recruiter will report to the Global Geography Recruitment Manager…

11 days ago

New Business Associate/New Business Specialist I/II (7-9)

DAI Bethesda, MD

include management/coordination of proposals, working with Delivery and Solutions staff to execute proposal vision while adhering to RFP/A…

30+ days ago

Associate Recruiter/Recruiter/Senior Recruiter, Africa (6-8)

DAI Bethesda, MD

The Associate Recruiter/International Recruiter/Senior Recruiter will report to the Africa Geography Recruitment Manager…

30+ days ago

Senior Contracts Administrator/Contracts Administrator (8/7)

DAI Bethesda, MD

**__ _New Business_ Participate in new business strategies including discussions on identifying risks and analyzing these risks for a bid…

25 days ago

Senior/Learning Specialist (8/7)

DAI Bethesda, MD

This is a professional position within the Training and Development Unit. The incumbent partners closely with the Training Manager, employing all…

3 days ago

Human Resources Assistant/Associate (4/5)

DAI Bethesda, MD

_** _Compensation & Benefits (25%)_ * Provide administrative support for annual and mid-year compensation and annual cash bonus (ACB) processes…

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James Boomgard
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  1. 3 people found this helpful  

    Unable to escape the US Gov contractor mentality

    • Comp & Benefits
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    • Senior Management
    • Culture & Values
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    Former Employee - Project Coordinator in Bethesda, MD
    Former Employee - Project Coordinator in Bethesda, MD

    I worked at Development Alternatives full-time (more than an year)


    If you work in the field, its incredible. 6 moths abroad taught me more than years in a home office. I experienced none of the Cons below in the field. I count my move from the field to the home office for "job security" as one of the worst choices I have ever made, as it sapped my faith in the whole Development Sector (read: Industry).


    1. Avoid becoming a "Project Coordinator." This level where the most burnout happens. Poor management, long hours, high expectations, extremely high competition, and low pay drive out a lot of talented folks. This is also where most "cuts" are.

    2. Co-Workers can be cut-throat. Let's face it, this field attracts rising stars. The unfortunate reality is people here often rise at the cost of others. Because of this, my department was a gloomy, quiet place where no one spoke and people kept files on each other. One co-worker even saved all of his correspondences on a removable drive because, "You will need to cover your [butt]."
    To illustrate this point: On day ONE, I was chewed out for following a faulty set of instructions my co-worker gave me. Although he had the opportunity to step in and assume responsibility, he stayed silent. When approached later, he said, "That should teach you to always verify." Things only got worse from there!

    3. DAI can be "clickish." Long hours usually means your only friends are your co-workers. It doesn't help that most people moved to the DC are from places like Dubuque, Iowa, knowing no one in the area. The first friends they often make are the cubicle moles next to them. Longtimers (read: those that have survived for 9 months) often cluster together, dismissing "greenhorns" who have the life expectancy of Infantry at D-Day. I don't blame them! If you managed to find a group of colleagues that won't feed you to the sharks for brownie points, I'd stick to them like glue too!

    4. Its about making money stupid. DAI will beat the mantra of "we're a business that operates like a non-profit." Funny thing is, I never saw the level of blame shifting, betrayal, fact-hiding, and general A-type snobbery in the name of personal advancement and profit ... in the FOR-PROFIT sector(read: not in the Development Industry). The mission is about making money at Home Office. Your mission is professional advancement in a field where everyone is as good or better than your are. That means one thing: If you treat this like your run of the mill, mom & pop non-profit, you will be eaten alive.

    5. This will all suck your soul away. People at Home Office actively delude themselves into thinking they are doing "good for the world" while "accidentally" forwarding email chains with other peoples' mistakes to managers, filing in blanks in auditable material before the RIG shows up, taking out higher insurance policies on people going to "safe" areas in Afghanistan (only to see them brutally murdered months later), falsifying time cards, and I could go on. If these are the people who grease the wheels in our country's philanthropic efforts... well no wonder International Development is so jammed up!


    Advice to ManagementAdvice

    1. Ethics. Ethics. Ethics. Teach your managers to do the right thing. Corruption and scandal works its way downwards, not the other way around!
    2. Just because you can manage a portfolio, doesn't mean you can manage people, and vice versa. Separate your managers from your leaders. Give your leaders the supervisory role and your managers the role of bean counter. You'll see less people quit because "my boss sucks."

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