Orientation Hub


Get Ready

Congratulations on being offered a post in the United Nations Secretariat! 


Job offer received

Find information here that may help you to decide whether to accept the offer – or, if you have already accepted, to get answers to your questions, and learn how to begin to prepare for your new role. 

To get to know your duty station, we suggest you follow these five tips.

1. Review the Relocation Guide for your duty station
Below are links to a few such guides, and if your duty station is not listed, please ask your HR partner, Buddy and/or manager to share whatever is available.

Nairobi, Kenya

2. Visit the Visitor Centre website and/or public website of your duty station
Here are a few examples:

ESCWA - Beirut, Lebanon
GSC / UNLB -  Brindisi, Italy
GSC / UNSBV - Valencia, Spain
UNHQ - New York, USA   
UNON - Nairobi, Kenya
RSCE / Entebbe, Uganda

3. List your questions and ask your Buddy
Make a list of all the things you most want to know about your duty station - both the office context and surrounding area. Ask your family and friends to suggest additional questions to add. Then, ask your GO2UN Buddy and/or others you know at the location.

4. Develop your language skills for your new duty station
You are highly encouraged to develop your language proficiency and communication skills for use in the office and in the surrounding community.

  • Explore training options LANGUAGE LEARNING | HR Portal (un.org)
  • Ask your HR Partner, Buddy, manager and team for suggestions on how to develop your language and communication skills.
  • Make a plan for how to develop these skills.

5.  Explore other resources about your new work location

Countries | ReliefWeb
SDG Country Profiles
Country profiles-World Health Organization
Country profiles-World Bank Data
Country List | UN Women Data Hub

To help with the relocation of your family and yourself as a United Nations Staff Member, download the Relocation Checklist and follow up on your relocation process. 

If you have been offered a post in a Peacekeeping mission and have not received it already, please request a copy of the Pre-deployment Information Package from your Human Resources contact or hiring manager. The content in this package is especially helpful if this is either your first time working in a Peacekeeping Mission, or you are moving duty stations. 

Download the PDF - 2017  (For D1, D2, ASG, USG) (Update under development)
Even if you are not a Senior Leader, you may find the information in this Essential Guide very useful.


To be well prepared for your work in the Organization – and ideally before your first day of work, please aim to complete the first two or three mandatory courses, listed below in priority order. UN Staff members are required to complete all of these by the end of their first three months of work in the Organization. To get started, please do this: 

  1. Determine which courses you need to take.  All staff must complete all courses listed below, and non-staff (e.g. interns, consultants) may need to take fewer (ask HR).  Also, check the mandatory learning overview for any specialized training needed for your role.  
  2. Check this guide to how to register for any of these mandatory courses. You can register and complete all mandatory courses before you have a UN e-mail address.  

Mandatory Courses

  • SAFE is the new online security awareness training. It replaces both Basic Security in the Field (BSITF) and Advanced Security in the Field (ASITF). BSAFE is mandatory for all UN personnel, including staff, interns and consultants. 
    LANGUAGES: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian, Spanish  
  • Prevention of Sexual Harassment and Abuse by United Nations Personnel - Working Harmoniously develops strategies to prevent and respond well to possible prohibited conduct – to create a harmonious work environment.
    LANGUAGES:  English, French   
  • Ethics and Integrity at the United Nations promotes ethical awareness and ethical decision making so that staff are better enabled to fulfill the mission of the UN. 
    LANGUAGES: Arabic, Chinese, English, French, Russian.     
  • Information Security Awareness — Foundational provides Information Security Awareness Training for all who use IT systems at the United Nations.  An assessment must be taken following completion of the course.
    LANGUAGES:  English  
  • I Know Gender aims to develop and strengthen awareness and understanding of gender equality and women’s empowerment as a first step towards behavioral change and the integration of a gender perspective into everyday work for all UN personnel at headquarters, regional and country levels. 
    LANGUAGES:  English, French, Spanish  
  • Preventing Fraud and Corruption aims to increase the capacity of staff at all levels to recognize fraud and corruption at the UN, to learn how the UN manages the risk of fraud and corruption, and to apply practical actions to reduce fraud and corruption. 
    LANGUAGES:  English, French  
  • UN Human Rights Responsibilities aims to increase the capacity of United Nations staff in upholding their human rights responsibilities in their daily work and in taking appropriate action for human rights protection within their functions. 
    LANGUAGES:  English, French, Spanish  
  • Prevention of Sexual Exploitation and Abuse by United Nations personnel, for all uniformed and civilian personnel, emphasizes the UN standards of conduct, as well as expectations of accountability and individual responsibility in matters of conduct and discipline, with a special focus on sexual exploitation and abuse. 
    LANGUAGES:  English, French  


Staff can better understand pay and benefits as per their category by reviewing information found on the HR Portal. 

The UN recently celebrated 75 years of serving the world, and we are excited that you will soon be contributing to this work – as someone new to the Organization, or someone taking on a new role.    
To help you celebrate, here are a few inspiring videos: 

Identify your appointment type – and related allowances and benefits – as described on the HR Portal. Also, explore the Human Resources policies on the UN Policy Portal  



Four weeks before

As you continue to get ready for your new post, we encourage you to learn more about your role in the Organization and as an International Civil Servant; and the founding principles of the United Nations.

Review the United Nations system chart, and identify where your new role “fits” in the larger Organization. 

Former Deputy Secretary-General Jan Eliasson always carried the UN Charter in his pocket. Why? To remind himself that this is an Organization built around values and principles. 

Please read this charter - as signed in 1945 - with these questions in mind: 

  • Which parts do you find the most inspiring? 
  • Which parts most closely connect with the work you will do? 

You may also want to review two other key United Nations Documents: 

When you join the United Nations, you will sign a Declaration of Office (or Oath of Office), committing to the Standards of Conduct as an International Civil Servant.  Specific responsibilities of UN Staff Members are International Civil Servants can be found in the UN Staff Regulations and Rules, ST/SGB/2018/1/Rev.1 and ST/SGB/2016/9, "Status, basic rights and duties of United Nations staff members".

Do you know your primary responsibilities?  Take this 5-question quiz to find out.

To learn more about the importance of this Oath, watch this  interview with former Secretary-General Ban Ki-Moon .

Some duty stations have local organizations that coordinate networking meetings and other events for spouses of UN staff. Ask your HR Partner if there is one near you. 

Some that are well-established include: 

  • In New York, Local Expatriate Staff Association (NYLESA)
  • The Kenya Local Expatriate Spouse Association (UNKLESA 
  • There is also a guide on employment options for spouses. (Last update, 2015; new version is being drafted.)

The level of salaries for Professional staff are set by reference to the highest-paying national civil service. The level of salaries for General Service staff aims to reflect the best prevailing conditions found locally for similar work. 

UN official holidays vary according to location. By clicking on the relevant location, please check and note on your calendar which holidays apply to you. Also, keep these different calendars in mind if you later need to plan meetings or events with other UN locations.  
After you get a “UN ID”, you will have access to iSeek at iseek@un.org to get updates by searching for “UN Official Holidays”. 



Two weeks before

Your starting date is just two weeks away! We suggest here a few more tasks to help you to get ready for the privilege of serving in a dynamic, multicultural environment with others of the same motivation and focus. 


The Charter established six main bodies of the United Nations. The United Nations family, however, is much larger, encompassing 15 agencies and several programmes and bodies. 
To learn a bit more, we encourage you to watch these videos: 

Especially if English is not your primary language, we also highly recommend this self-paced course in Learning English through Learning about the United Nations, which includes ten learning units that cover the history and work of the United Nations, writing tips for UN writers, and more.

Staff Rules and Regulations provide the legal framework to Staff Member employment with the United Nations. Identify topics in this HR Handbook on the HR Portal that apply to you, and click on those rules to learn more.  

If you are completely new to the Organization, you will be asked to complete PENS.A/2 – Designation of Beneficiary for a Residual Settlement for the process of designating a beneficiary for a residual settlement.  

You may also want to learn more about the UN pension fund, and your rights and benefits.   

All locally-recruited and international staff have access to UN mandatory Health Insurance and optional Life Insurance

Find and review your options here: Health & Life Insurance Section | (un.org), and please note that:

  • Health Insurance must be selected within 31 days of your “Entry on Duty” (EOD) date.
  • Life insurance must be selected (if you decide to)  within 60 days of your EOD date.

Questions can be sent via this form: Contact us | Health & Life Insurance Section (un.org)

For staff in New York
Read and review “Navigating the Health Care System in the United States, a handbook that can help you to make informed choices. 

Every UN staff member makes time for learning with the goal of at least five days per year dedicated to activities that strengthen your skills and knowledge. More information on planning your learning efforts is found on the HR Portal at Learning and Development 

The Manager's Toolkit is a series of pages on the HR Portal that are designed to be “just-in-time" self-study resources for UN managers. The pages include things you need to know, links to learning programmes, other UN web pages, and in some cases, links to free external resources.

If your contact with your new duty station hasn't shared this already, ask if they can share advice related to finding apartments, hotels, or residences in the duty station - either UN approved, or examples to help you understand what costs to expect.

All staff will need to share these documents: 

  • Passport or National ID - for self and eligible dependent spouse (if applicable)
  • Marriage certificate (if married)
  • Birth certificates for dependent children (if relevant) 

General Service (GS) staff will also need to show:

  • Original copy of high school diploma