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Self Assessment

Committing yourself to becoming a German Red Cross Delegate is a significant undertaking and should be thoroughly considered. At times, one’s humanitarian desire to help may take precedence over the actual ability to do so, due to personal and professional considerations. The following questions are meant to help guide you through the process of thinking about undertaking this commitment.

  • Personal
    • Can I put my personal life in Germany ‘on hold’ to work on an international mission?  Am I prepared to have little or no contact with loved ones for extended durations?
    • Would my family, significant other, and/or close friends support my decision?
    • Are my family/significant other/close friends supportive of my interest in international mission? What are their concerns/fears and how would their reaction impact my decision?
    • What difficulty/hardship might my family encounter if I take an international assignment?
    • Is my personal motivation for working overseas healthy? Am I trying to escape from issues and problems that may be better dealt with by staying in Germany?
    • How do I feel about living/working in areas of insecurity where my life may be in danger?
    • Am I able to adapt quickly to fast-paced, changing environments?
    • Do I thrive when working in a multi-cultural environment and accept the challenge of adapting to different cultures and work styles?
  • Professional
    • Can I put my professional life in Germany 'on hold' for between one months and one year, with two weeks’ notice or even less to prepare?
    • Are my colleagues/supervisors supportive of my desire to work on international missions? Are they willing/able to make adjustments to their workload and to adapt to new co-workers to accommodate my absence?
    • Do my colleagues/supervisor understand that I will need time to re-adjust upon my return, and that my perspectives on our work may shift?
    • If self-employed, am I willing and able to risk losing business clients due to my absence or are there other contingency plans I must put into place?
    • Am I willing, upon my return from an assignment, to accept that my role at work may not be the same as when I left and that others may have gained competencies in my area of expertise, meaning I am no longer needed to complete certain tasks?
    • Am I willing to look for new work upon return or to be unemployed for periods of time while not on mission?
  • Red Cross
    • Do I have a well-grounded understanding of the Fundamental Principles of the Red Cross/Crescent Movement, particularly neutrality and impartiality, and of their practical application?
    • Do I have personal, religious, or political beliefs that might conflict with these principles?
    • Am I ready to assume these principles as my own and realize that while on assignment I am a representative of the Red Cross 24-hours-a-day and must adhere to them at all times?
  • Health/ Stress
    • Do I have excellent mental and physical health to stand the rigors of a highly stressful environment and possibly poor living conditions?
    • Am I prone to depression? If so, do these incidents run the risk of intensifying?
    • Is my ability to cope with stress strong? Do I use healthy means such as physical exercise or confiding in colleagues
  • Working Style/ Skill
    • Do I have the professional qualifications and work experience as outlined by the Red Cross?
    • Do I have the capacity to work independently and make sound decisions without consultation, even in unfamiliar situations?
    • Do I work well in a team, respecting the role every member plays and operating cooperatively?
    • Do I have the ability to work long hours on a continual basis, if required?
  • Overseas Experience and Cultural Sensitivity
    • How quickly and accurately do I develop sensitivity to the nuances of other cultures? What experiences have I had in working/living with people whose heritage, values, beliefs, etc. are different from my own? How do I cope with the challenges these relationships present?
    • What in my professional or personal experience has prepared me for an overseas assignment? Do I have overseas intercultural experience that will help prepare me?

If your response to any of the above questions elicited some concern, you should carefully re-think your interest in becoming a delegate.

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