A community development worker is a person who works to better a community developing, managing, and implementing community assistance and outreach programs. A person in this position can work in a variety of job categories, with different responsibilities depending on the region, type of organization, and available programs. Working in community development is a viable career option for anyone who wants to use their communication skills and logical thinking to benefit the people in their community.
A community development worker’s educational background can vary. Bachelor’s degrees in social work, business, political science, or communications are among the qualifications. Development workers may hold a master’s or doctoral degree in a related field in some cases. Lawyers, doctors, and accountants are examples of community development workers who may have specialty licenses that allow them to provide unique services to an organization. Higher-paying jobs and more responsibilities may necessitate more education, but some less-educated development workers can rise through the ranks based solely on their talent and tenacity.
A community development worker’s day-to-day responsibilities will vary depending on where he or she works. Governmental, non-profit, religious, and educational institutions all have community service organizations. Various organizations provide a variety of services, ranging from low-cost meals for the disabled and elderly to free legal advice for those facing eviction. Most community development organizations share the goal of making visible changes that benefit all citizens, but the means which they achieve that goal can be very different.
Working directly with clients of organizations, writing grant proposals and working on fund raising, compiling and analyzing research on community issues in order to create targeted programs, and hiring or managing volunteers are just a few of the tasks that a community development worker might have. Development workers may also need to communicate with other organizations and local governments in order to pool resources and apply them most effectively. Because of the numerous job opportunities available, the field is wide open to those with a desire to assist the local community.
People who work in community development frequently have a strong interest in social justice, politics, and assisting others. Ability to work in a team, excellent communication, strong leadership qualities, and belief in the organization’s mission are all skills that may be useful in this field. A community development worker with these skills can be a powerful force for change in their field.