Your career at the United Nations is made up of the jobs you undertake, the experiences you gain, and the personal and professional fulfilment you achieve along the way.
The wide range of functions and mandates at the United Nations offers staff many opportunities and potential career paths.

What is a successful career at the United Nations?

Here are some key elements as presented in the Career Satisfaction Framework:            

  • We must find our very own definitions of success. Each of us must determine what mix of meaningful job content, relationships with colleagues, work-life balance, upward progression and other factors will bring us fulfilment.  
  • We value making an impact on the lives of the peoples of the world we serve.
  • We value depth of experience: expertise in given fields, professional excellence and intentional learning.
  • We also value breadth of experience: the skills acquired through a succession of experiences across jobs and duty stations.

Explore the Framework (French) to learn more about the Organization’s perspective on career journeys and the many benefits – and challenges – of a UN career. Also explore the resources below to find out about the actual experiences of UN staff members. You will see the many career paths and the varying types of motivations that drive them.

Careers Portal

Stories from the Field

UN Career Journey Podcast

Humanitarian Leadership Stories


How do I get support for my career?

It’s important to understand that there are shared responsibilities for career support:

  • Staff are in the driver’s seat of their careers at the United Nations. We are responsible for understanding what motivates and fulfills us, setting career goals and taking steps to achieve them.
  • Managers also have an important role. They should hold periodic conversations with their team members to understand their short- and long-term goals and offer guidance and suggestions. They should also encourage staff to avail of learning and career support programmes.
  • The Organization identifies and communicates the skill expectations to staff. It also develops and maintains resources to help staff plan and implement career decisions.

Resources provided by the Office of Human Resources include the Career Workbook, a UN system mentoring programmecareer webinars and a wide range of self-directed learning programmes, including through LinkedIn Learning and the Leadership and Management portfolio

Your local HR office may provide other tools or programmes. Check with them to understand what is available at your duty station.


Check out the Career Centre site on the Knowledge Gateway for more information (a password-protected site for staff only).



Important documents: