Professionals come back from development serice with valuable experience, knowledge, and skills. This can make returning to professional working life easier. And it can open up new prospects as well.
The 2021 study looked at the skills gained during development service and how professionals put these to profitable use after completing development service.
As they go through the recruitment process, returnees observe which of the skills they acquired during development service are in high demand in the job market and which are most relevant to the choice of successful candidates. Most professionals rank flexibility, analytical thinking, and programme management skills at the top of the list.
Additionally, intercultural competences gained through serving as a professional development worker carry special weight in the recruitment process too. The list also includes language skills and conflict management skills.
Personnel managers are also interested in the soft skills that are ascribed to professional development workers, e.g., empathy, openness, nonviolent communication skills, resilience, and counselling skills.
However, professional development workers quite often discover that personnel managers who are responsible for recruitment have little idea of the professional nature of development service and how it can foster the development of professional competences.
In 2017, AGdD’s Reintegration Programme commissioned a study entitled “Entwicklungsdienst qualifiziert:.Wie Fachkräfte lernen und Kompetenzen entwickeln“ ("Development Serviceas a Qualification. How professionals learn and develop skills"). The results of the study prompted a recommendation that a tool for compiling a comprehensive list of skills be developed specifically for professional development workers. The development service/CPS ProfilPASS has been available since 2018. AGdD gives returnees the opportunity to create their own skills profile using the ProfilPASS during advising or seminars.
As part of the AGdD study 2022 "Before and after development service: A quantitative study among returnees (2011-2020) in-depth interviews were conducted with some study participants. They talked about their experiences, motivations for a development service and its influence until today - e.g. in the form of social engagement after their return.