UN Expat Jobs – Which Country Have The Best Opportunity For Expats part 2. What are the pros and cons?

UN Expat Jobs – Which Country Have The Best Opportunity For Expats. You can see part one here.

Pros and Cons of Working for the United Nations in 2021

UN Expat Jobs

Many expats would love to work for the United Nations. And this is because; it’s one of the top international organizations globally. They work on projects around the world from civil aviation to refugee aid, from climate change to sustainable tourism.

Moreover, jobs at the UN give you the opportunity to support projects addressing some of the most pressing challenges in the world today. However, like all organizations, there are good and bad sides of working for the UN. Without further ado, below are the pros and cons of working for the UN today.


a)      One of the Most Prestigious Place to Work

One of the benefits of working for the United Nations is because it is highly a prestigious place to work. And as the leading international organization addressing world issues, the United Nations is a highly respected institution to be a part of. Therefore, having a job at the UN can be great because it’s known around the world.

b)      Opportunity to World around the World

Another pro of working in the UN today is because of the opportunity it brings. Since the UN has many offices across its sites, the benefits of working here cannot be overemphasized. Besides, it can also constitute to a great experience as you can move between offices and build valuable experience working in other countries. Also, if you travel to areas of crises and working to assist people affected is your thing, this is definitely a pro of working for the United Nation.

c)       United Nations Jobs Can Be Well Paid

A definite good thing about working for the United Nations is that it can be well paid. Not only is that, but they have wide range of jobs with a degree of variation in salaries. That being said, the UN workers also often get added benefits which further increases their salaries. UN staff usually work abroad where their wages can go further. But, we can tell you that the salaries are a great part of working for the UN.

d)      Opportunity to Work on Global Issues

As said in our previous post, you can work in the UN and be opportune to deliberate on global issues. And this is because; the United Nation’s focus on crises and development means taking a job that allow you to work on many different projects helping people in need. Again, a great part of working for the UN is using your skills and experience to help solve major global problems.

UN Expat Jobs

e)      Opportunity to Work with Highly Motivated People

While working as a staff in the United Nations, you’ll be opportune to meet with highly intelligent people around the globe. Besides, people who work for the UN are also highly motivated to solve some of the major issues facing the world. In this case, they’ll prefer a solution by finding great problem-solvers around the world. And this is one of the great things about working for the UN as an expats.


UN Jobs is Not Always a Stable Career

Working at the United Nations can be worrisome because it’s not a stable career. Unless, you’re very lucky and land a permanent UN job, most of the ones available jump between short-term to contracts jobs. And this could make building a career within the UN a challenge and also make gaining traction in your career difficult. Moreover, the instability of working a UN is a real down-side to joining the organization.

United Nations Is Very Bureaucratic

This also constitutes another problem of working for the United Nations. In addition to this fact, the UN is an enormous organization spanning almost every country in the world. And we can tell you that you should expect a varying state of bureaucracy.

Furthermore, the organizations have a reputation for being overly reliant on complex systems and processes and not focused enough on delivering results. And having to navigate the crazy UN bureaucracy is for sure a negative side of working in this organization.

Bribery and Corruption

Another downside of working for the United Nations is bribery and corruption. While the UN is known for being difficult to navigate and hard to understand, the structure, as well as its system and processes are not always clear.

At first, this can make joining the organization and building a career within the United Nation frustrating and can be a definite bad part about working there. And combine with an overly complex structure and it makes the UN a hard place to work. An often complained about aspect of the UN complexity is the bribery and corruption.

You Can’t Always Choose Where to Work

Another problem to put into consideration while trying to work for the UN is the placement issues.  Many UN staff has complained in recent times that it’s always difficult for them to choose the country they love to work.

Also, short UN contracts can also mean you regularly need to find new positions within the organization. Although many UN staff joins because they want to be able to travel and work abroad, over a long career but this factor can be a downside. Also, the continuous movements required by some UN jobs can be seen a con of working for the organization.

UN Countries Suitable for Expats

With the problems mentioned above, it’s quite essential to know the best countries that’d be good for you. The ranking is carried out by experts from the United Nations Development Programme. To measure the country’s progress, the UN calculates the Human Development index every year. Without further ado, below are the top five UN countries for expat to relocate in terms of seeking jobs.

·         Norway

As a founding member of the United Nations, Norway has held several historic and important positions in the UN. Also, the first Secretary-General of the United Nations was Norway’s former Minister for foreign affairs, Trygve Lie. Besides, the Norwegian lifestyle is strongly connected to the life you want. Moreover, the country has repeatedly been ranked as the best country to live in recent years.

·         Ireland

Ireland is the second on our list, as research made it known that they joined the United Nations in 1995. If you’re looking for the best jobs that’d give you time to take care of your family and friends, this is the best country. They provide a great quality of life, and there are few cities, especially popular among expats.

·         Iceland

Iceland is a member of most of the specialized agencies and other autonomous bodies of the United Nations. Permanent representatives of Iceland maintain a presence at the UN headquarters in New York, and the UN offices in Geneva and Vienna. However, living and working in this country as an expat cannot be overemphasized.

Frequently Asked Questions about UN Expat Jobs

Is it hard to get jobs in UN?

As said earlier, it is generally hard to get a job at the United Nations. Meanwhile, the main reasons UN jobs are difficult to get include language requirements, specific needs for skills, high competition, high level of education, and the often-complex UN recruitment process and that the United Nations wants to recruits a diversely as possible.

Does working for the United Nations Pays Well?

Of course, working for the United Nations is a great opportunity and they pay well. For entry-level professionals, known as P1, the annual net base salary for example can range from USD 37,000 – 80,000. Having said that, salaries, grants, and allowances paid by the United Nations are normally exempt from income tax, and that’s why many people would love to work here.

What is the best UN agency to work for?

The United Nations Job usually carries on many programs, where young specialists can receive a necessary experience to get a position in the organization after completion. However, we can tell you that humanitarian department, science, administration, and many others are the agency or department you should consider if you’re planning to work for the United Nations.

What are the International Relations Jobs that are available?

There are many international relations job available in the United Nations. However, we can explore five of them so you can understand the process better. They include; diplomat, intelligence analyst, policy analyst, lobbyist, communications specialist, and many others to mention a few.

UN Expat Jobs

How do I prepare for UN exams?

To prepare for the UN exams, it is recommended to read global newspaper, journals, and magazines.  Aside from this side, it is advised to go back to your university literature and refresh yourself on important and basic theories within the job family you have applied for.

How long does UN hiring process takes?

In most cases, applicants will only get contacted and are handled in a more individual manner if they pass the first stage of shortlisting. Meanwhile, the end to end process of applying to securing a job can take up to four month but the first stage notification for an interview can be fairly quick.

How many UN are there in the world?

As said earlier, there are about 195 countries in the world today. However, this total comprises 193 countries that are member states of the United Nations and 2 countries that are non-member observer states: the Holy See and the State of Palestine.

Which countries aren’t in the UN?

The two countries that are not UN members are Vatican City (Holy See) and Palestine. Both are considered non-member states of the United Nations, allow them to participate as permanent observes of the General Assembly, and are provided access to UN document.

Is WTO part of UN?

Although the WTO is not a UN specialized agency, but it has maintained strong relations with the UN and its agencies since its establishment. More so, the WTO Director General participates to the Chief Executive Board which is the organ of coordination within the UN system.


Foreigners and expatriates will definitely enjoy working for the United Nations. If you truly want to join this organization, you should understand the process it takes to recruit new staff. Nonetheless, refer to this guide for more information about UN expats jobs and the countries that have the best opportunity for expats.

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