Break Into Development - currently closed

Kick Down Doors, Stop Wasting Time and Start Making a Difference

Break Into Development is currently not open for enrollment. Sign up for the Waitlist to be the first to know when it opens up again!

Finally... a PROVEN, results-based training program to identify jobs you not only qualify for but are a TOP candidate to win... discover stable organizations excited to speak with YOU... and to start your new lifestyle with a higher salary, job security and a team that values what you bring to the table

Use this tested, step-by-step training to turn your EXISTING skills into development and humanitarian sector job opportunities - each and every time you want to work in a new location, get a promotion or better provide for your family

“Joining Break Into Development has been my best decision in 2019. Every aspect of the course is something I will get back to look at over and over again. It's not just about the next vacancy, but a system I can use that I know I can get a job in the years to come. It's not something superficial, it's not just a band-aid. It's something that if you internalize you will find useful. Not just in international job searching. But in terms of organizing yourself, your focus, how to key into opportunities. I have achieved a lot of clarity in terms of what I want. Now I can look at the ToR, and understand the terminology and the keywords. For me, it has been very, very illuminating.”

- Yusuf A., animal health lecturer in Lagos

After years of applying, I learned how to go from the endless job hunt to a new job in the international development sector -- whenever I need to land one.

I remember submitting application after application only to learn landing that top position at the United Nations, World Bank, African Development Bank or a global NGO is just as difficult as earning my degrees and developing my professional skills.

I would check Relief Web, Devex, UN Jobs and other job portals every hour on the hour, to see if my dream job was still there. I used to submit application after application, only to get NO-RESPONSE in return - the only feedback was the computer generated one.

So many fail to get their job applications through to the interview short-list, even if they look at the duties and responsibilities and minimum qualifications in the Terms of Reference and see they can do the job if given the opportunity.


Because they prepare for their impact job-search in the wrong way. They fail to develop an insider's, master perspective on how hiring actually works.

They may be familiar with the most popular job websites. Know some of the techniques to get a job in development, like using keywords from the ToR in their CV.

But still they wonder: How much time should be spent on the Cover Letter, does anybody even read it? What do the minimum requirements really mean, am I even qualified? And worry about having experience in different sectors (or no experience at all), leaving out major parts of their background that can connect to the hiring need.

What’s missing is using a systematic process to stop worrying about finding your next job, and instead get started doing work you love. A process you know uses techniques proven to persuade hiring managers that you’re already part of the team from the first line they read in your CV - that it’s just a formality to hire you.

Because of the system I've built and used in my own career, when I apply to new assignments today the chances are on my side. I know that every time I compete with hundreds of others to get a job offer, I stand among the top performers to break in.

Your Instructor

Chris Kuonqui
Chris Kuonqui

Hi, I'm Chris Kuonqui

I've led a 18+ year career in global development across 30 countries working with 6 UN agencies, 2 multilateral banks & an international NGO ranging from work including interviewing women in the Ethiopian manufacturing sector to analysis informing the UN Security Council. I've served as everything from director of a policy unit to short-term consultant and intern, and everything in between.

After years learning to apply to development sector jobs & sitting at the hiring table on the inside, I launched Impact Growth Lab to help the world's best minds learn the skills to break into development - and do world changing work once in.

For years, I barely used my hard-earned Master's degree and skills in dead-end jobs, missed out on tons of higher income, and all but lost my passion to make a difference

Back when I started looking for a job in development, I spent months searching, networking, and applying, only to drain my savings to almost nothing before finding that next position to grow my career.

It was a tough time, with little hope. I almost came to regret studying a degree in international development that wasn't giving me the chance to break in.

I tried just about everything out there.

Found and paid a career coach? Yes, I did that, filled out useless self-surveys to "know myself better", and only managed to lose a lot of money and get nowhere.

Got my CV professionally written? Been there and done that, too. All they did was change some keywords and the template. Number of new jobs won? Zero.

Built my network? This made a huge difference - but only when I slowly built authentic and genuine relationships with other professionals over months and years. No one EVER gave me a job just because they were in my network.

Sat in a comfortable job and watched colleague after colleague get exciting new opportunities, with more responsibility and pay? I did a lot of this. In the meanwhile, I knew I had hit the ceiling of how far I could grow in my current job and organization. I just didn't know how to find that next job that would give me MY CHANCE.

So I kept applying to new job opportunities that would excite me. But it was like going in blind, crossing your fingers and clicking send.

I had no idea what to say to make myself stand-out and show how ready I was to get to the next level.

Despite my postgraduate degrees, internships and certifications:


It wasn't until I started on a long journey to learn what proven top performers who consistently get jobs do...

After applying and failing to find my next job, I decided to learn how top performers in the sector constructed their careers, built their expertise, and were able to work around the world.

Through this journey, I was able to stop working in a job that barely paid the bills - and instead start growing a career that would take me to work in 26 countries in every part of the world.

Over hundreds of conversations with colleagues, friends and mentors in development, I learned how to get out of organizations that did not value me, where I was underpaid and unrecognized. And instead to jump-start an international career -- to work on issues I was passionate about, where I could apply my skills and leadership - and all while traveling around the world.

Over the years, I’ve spent hundreds of hours understanding the development and humanitarian sector job market. And through my own applications, I've experimented with different types of CV templates, scripts to reach out to hiring managers, and gone on to interview for dozens of jobs.

Today, I know what it takes to find, interview for and to serve in international jobs that give you the opportunity to earn a good living with job security and benefits, to be able to provide comfortably for your family, and to grow you skills, expertise and experience -- to be excited to go to work in the morning.

I rose to be a hiring manager at the UN where I read thousands of applications, participated on interview panels for dozens of jobs, and saw every kind of hiring situation take place from an insider's seat at the hiring table.

Here's what happened to me after building a systematic process that guaranteed my finding a new job when I want to...

  • DREAM POSITIONS: I rose faster and higher as I moved from one job to the next. I went from an admin position to a research position to an officer and then to a hiring manager -- in the short span of a few years, winning jobs that most of my friends and colleagues would have loved to do.

  • INSTANT TICKET ROUND THE WORLD: I made a list of countries I wanted to work in - and used my job-getting skill to win jobs that would take me anywhere I wanted to go.

I got to work in Bhutan. This was me doing interviews with communities impacted by climate change...

I went to Afghanistan as the Head of the Policy Unit for a major UN agency. Here was the view from my office on the first day of heavy snow in January a few years ago...

My work even took me to see Beyonce in concert in New York at the first Global Citizen festival...

  • INVITATIONS TO SPEAK AT CONFERENCES: I presented at international conferences at Columbia University, New School University in New York, and University of Groningen in the Netherlands.

I also gave a lecture at the University of Khartoum. Here was the banner that invited the Sudanese public to come see me talk:

Yes, they misspelled my name, but did I care? No! I was just thankful my skill in finding development work could give me the opportunity to lecture in Sudan.

  • CONSISTENT INCOME & STABLE ORGANIZATIONS: The positions I used my job-getting system to find gave me a comfortable income where I didn't worry about making my bills every month. I also worked with stable organizations with values I agreed with - making sure I was contributing to work I found valuable.

Have you spent months shooting your applications into the dark only to get no response?

I've been there. And let me tell you... Once I realized these TWO things, everything changed. Want to know what they are?

#1. You DON'T need a second Master's degree, more certificates or a series of new letters after your name.

You can find and get stable jobs in great organizations by telling what I call your Hero Story. You see, every time a hiring manager makes the decision to advertise a development job, they just want to find someone who can take their team to the next level.

I guarantee you: you have skills and experience not only to meet the minimum requirements for that new job. But to EXCEED EXPECTATIONS - for you, for them, and for the organization. So that projects keep on delivering and development results reach the communities we serve.

So what's blocking you?

It's showing hiring managers - the only ones who matter in the room - that you're ready. With compelling evidence and examples that you're capable of hitting the road running.

Your unique Hero Story is what you need to find and tell to persuade them you have the skills and experience in your background to get them to the next level.

#2. The success of your development career is not personal -- it's about what you can do FOR OTHERS. Either you know the exact data and results that show hiring managers what you can deliver, or you need to uncover them. It comes down to finding your NICHE:

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E xpertise as you

Once I learned how to identify my unique NICHE for each and every job, I went from feeling undervalued in my work and afraid of not finding a job true to myself - to breaking out of my comfort zone, working in every country I wanted to, and reaching a director-level assignment faster than most of my colleagues.

"Break Into Development put things together in a systematic approach, in a concise way with PowerPoints and worksheets as opposed to hearing tips in one circumstance or another. I've thought of working with career coaches before. And I worked with a career counselor. But it just wasn't tailored, they didn't have the development experience I wanted. Break Into Development, however, had content specifically on international development and the humanitarian sector. One of the biggest lessons from the program was how to reframe my mentality. I learned to approach my job search not out of a place of desperation or a 'choose me' mentality. But instead to reframe it, to tell my hero story, and to apply to jobs not from a place of scarcity but a place of what you have to offer to a team and making that connection."

- Emily P., M&E specialist based in Nairobi

This system works not just for me - but for dozens of others...

I want to accelerate your time to your next job in development with the exact strategies I've used to grow my career and that have taken me around the world to work on challenges from designing industrial policy to training the South Sudan government on gender mainstreaming, planning and budgeting.

That’s why after months of development...

...years in the making...

...and tested with dozens of other students...

...I’m releasing a new program that will show you my step-for-step training to make your application stand-out, land you the interview and finally give you the chance to prove what you're capable of doing.


"Break Into Development: Kick Down Doors, Stop Wasting Time and Start Making a Difference"

A world-class training program that will give you the exact insider secrets, tactics, and psychological strategies to crack the code of finding a development job to make your impact on the world

Break Into Development is a tested, step-by-step training program to not only get feedback on your development sector job applications, but to get you invited to the interview. Rapidly identify opportunities that match your skills and interests - and know which are a waste of your time. Define your unique Hero Story – and the challenges and problems you’ve solved – in a powerful new way to persuade hiring managers to place you on the short-list of top candidates.

Through this training program, you will 2x your chances for every development role you apply to.

Your Break Into Development program includes:

The Insider’s Roadmap to Finding Your First or Next Development Job

  • Breakthrough the mental barriers that hold you back, find your passion, and see the real value you bring to a new team (women are especially prone to not seeing how they can make their full impact, but this can be quickly corrected)
  • A simple technique to identify your accomplishments, your strengths, gap areas—and your “why”
  • Uncover the step-by-step roadmap to the job you daydream about doing, where you can finally contribute to making your community more just, equal and inclusive for all
  • By-pass success killers that block you from even applying for your dream position or organization, make you question your own skills, and leave you unsure if you have the “right” expertise
  • Inside the Vault: Use a set of techniques to remain confident when your applications get no response

Discover Your Dream Organization & Team

  • Decode the development landscape and know the types of organizations, opportunities and contract levels available
  • Forecast new opportunities by knowing where the money comes from and how to connect to donor interests, ideas and strategies
  • Use the jargon decoder technique to become fluent in the key words, acronyms, buzzwords and latest ideas influencing the development job market
  • Tap into under-utilized tools to gauge if you identify with the core values, culture, and team dynamics of a target organization

Zero-In on Vacancy Announcements

  • Where to find "inside information" about an organization and use this information to meet the understated real needs of a ToR
  • Adopt a "Window Shopping Strategy" in top job websites, and how to find unadvertised opportunities
  • How to decide priority jobs, sectors and organizations most available to you
  • Find opportunities in locations you care about and actually want to work in

The Inside Secrets on Hiring Practices

  • Learn key recruitment patterns that cut across the development sector and determine how hiring happens
  • Begin thinking like hiring managers and know how to tap into their everyday needs to put your best foot forward (legitimately and ethically)
  • How to stop wondering if you're even qualified and start leveraging your background and story to tick off competency-based needs (and find out what those really are)

The Components of a Stand-Out Application

  • Use our innovative NICHE technique to position yourself as a top candidate
  • How to build authentic relationships that help you look for a job, grow in your career and keep you moving up the impact ladder
  • The secrets to hiring manager attention-grabbing CVs and Cover Letters that get you invited to the interview (and know what common pitfalls NOT to waste time on)
  • How to craft your story to engage with development professionals and stand-out above the competition

At its heart, the course is designed to transfer skills and proven techniques to go into your toolbox, useful throughout your entire development career. Because if there's one thing that is certain in international development, it's that you will always need to be job-hunting.

Course Curriculum

Available in days
days after you enroll

"Everything in the Break Into Development program was very new to me. I've never looked at job hunting in that way. I've been on INSPIRA. I've filled out applications. I always did the copy and paste thing, using the same CV. I never really read the ToR. I just looked at the requirements and said, 'Yes, I have a Master's, let me apply.' But I got no results that way. I feel like if I internalize the Break Into Development worksheets and practical materials, I would save myself a lot of stress and disappointment. The NICHE matrix is really powerful. I thought I am just a normal person, what am I offering the market that is new? But the framework and examples you give excited me and challenged me to take a new direction."

- Isabella O., NGO Programme Officer, Kenya

Use this material for the rest of your life

Once you learn how to find, interview for, and GET top jobs in global development, that's knowledge you can use for the rest of your career.

We all expect to have up to 15 jobs throughout our working lives. You can now have a system to get your next position, and the one after that. Because one thing is certain in development: funding patterns will change, donor interests will shift, and it will be up to you to be ready for new opportunities.

You will get lifetime access and FREE future updates.

I aim to make this the best course you ever join. Yes, better than your university and graduate education. Because I will show you the proven methods to grow a career in international development I've built, tested and shared with others working in 26 countries around the world.

When you join, you receive LIFETIME ACCESS.

That means the material will be here for you in a month... a year... even 10 years, when you're looking to apply to your own director-level position.

Other benefits of joining Break Into Development:

  • Access to Break Into Development-only events, including private calls with experts and friends who work in the World Bank, UNDP, UN Women and other major development organizations who will share their secrets and insights.
  • Future updates to Break Into Development, where I’ll add to the materials over time to make sure your questions are answered and this course provides the state-of-the-art in helping you GET your dream job in international development.
  • First access to new products and courses from Impact Growth Lab.

Join Break Into Development – with GUARANTEED RESULTS

Because I stand by this product as the only available, proven system for breaking into development, I welcome you to try this program risk free.

Try it for 30 days.

If you have gone through all the video lessons, filled out each of the worksheets, and reached out to us for direct support to get you unstuck within 30 days of your purchase, I will grant you a refund.

No career coach, CV editing service or MA degree program will GIVE YOU YOUR MONEY BACK if you don't get results. If it doesn't work for you, I will refund the full cost of the program within 30 days of purchase.

"I'm happy to share with you the news that I have received a response from World Vision and I must say that I owe this to the skills I acquired from Break Into Development."

- Rachael M., M&E specialist, Kenya

Break Into Development can deliver AMAZING results, but this isn't for everyone...

I'm selective about who I invite into my programs. I'd rather work with a small group of students who are committed to growing their careers and ready to position themselves to make their development impact, than a large group of people who are looking for someone else to find them a job or just interested in blaming “the system” for a lack of opportunities.

And, this course isn't for absolute beginners.

Break Into Development is NOT for you if...

  • You are unfamiliar with the jobs application process to a development organization.
  • Do not meet the minimum qualifications in education, language or skills for your dream job.
  • Are looking for a magic solution to your job hunt without putting in the challenging work of following the Break Into Development system.
  • If you are looking for someone to just GIVE you a job without doing the work to be the best among job applicants, close this window and move on.
  • If you have been unemployed for more than 6 months, then I encourage you to use our free materials to strengthen your applications, and come back to us once you can invest in accelerating your career growth to where you know it can be.

You can try other methods - and waste money, time and watch your dream job go to someone else

I've tried one-on-one coaching - to get no results, lose thousands of dollars, and get NO GUARANTEED REFUND when things didn't work out.

I have gotten my CV and Cover Letter professionally written. That cost me $300. And that was to apply to just ONE job. If I do that for every job I can expect to have = I would be out more than $4,500 in my whole career! And again, no CV writer could GUARANTEE me results.

I listened to the free advice on jobs websites, on Facebook groups, LinkedIn... everything on the web. They all told me to build my network - because they said the ONLY way to get in is if you know someone. After years of building LinkedIn connections, networking, and doing the most to know people - I've gotten ZERO job offers without having to submit an application and compete with others to stand-out and be the best candidate.

As a hiring manager myself, I KNOW this just isn't the way things work. Why? Because, the first thing anyone who can offer you a job says is: "Ok, great, send me a copy of your CV." And if your CV fails to represent what you can do for their team and organization - you won't make it any further.

But worst of all, I did NOTHING.

I would find more dream jobs and submit submit and submit. I would blame the hiring system as UNFAIR. I would complain to friends that it was IMPOSSIBLE to get into top international development organizations. I would waste time checking the job boards, hitting refresh in my email inbox, and miss out on opportunity after opportunity.

Doing NOTHING to strengthen my job search strategy, my understanding of the jobs I REALLY wanted, the organizations whose VALUES I agreed with, and how to market myself in a way to STAND-OUT among the millions of others who want top international jobs -- all led me to zero opportunities.

Until I built over years of testing, applying and then being a hiring manager on the inside of these top organizations the Break Into Development system.

"I have learned so much and as I sit down to rewrite my CV and other cover letters, I will be guided by my experience of interacting with you. When I joined the Break Into Development course, I honestly did not know what to expect and after completing the course and attending this interview, I am convinced that every professional who wants to edge the interview should attend the Break Into Development course. I am recommending this to all my friends! I personally thank you for the opportunity to interact and learn, you are a wonderful facilitator!"

- Kennedy M., Technical Adviser, public health non-for-profit in Kenya

Here's what our students have to say:

Maysa, from Cape Verde and recently moved to Mozambique, was looking to transition from working in the private sector in the United States into an international NGO.

“During the weeks working with Impact Lab, there were opportunities to discuss at length about my abilities and how I wanted to be perceived. It helped me take a deeper look into how to market myself and my skills and how to respond better to TORs. Chris was really patient and very generous with his insights about the development aid area.”

Salome, from Kenya, had almost given up on her transition as an accountant at a private security firm, but received renewed hope for a global development job through Impact Growth Lab:

“I would really like to thank you for giving me the morale for continuing the job search as now I know I have a powerful tool I can use. You have restored my hope in a way I wish you could comprehend and I can’t thank you enough.”

Frequently Asked Questions

When does the course start and finish?
The course starts now and never ends! It is a completely self-paced online course - you decide when you start and when you finish.
How long do I have access to the course?
How does lifetime access sound? After enrolling, you have unlimited access to this course for as long as you like - across any and all devices you own.
What if I am unhappy with the course?
We would never want you to be unhappy! If you are unsatisfied with your purchase, contact us in the first 30 days and we will give you a full refund.
How long is this course?
There are currently 12+ core lessons and 15+ bonus vault videos with over 7 hours of exclusive, premium content. I've also included checklists, worksheets, and cheat sheets to help you get the most out of the material. Downloadable videos, lectures and worksheets are also provided.
Are updates included with this course?
Yes. Whenever the course is updated, you'll immediately be notified by email and get access to any and all updates instantly at no additional charge, forever. I've already updated the course several times, adding more content, tools and resources to help you win top international organization jobs.
Is this course for beginners or experienced professionals?
I created this course for both beginners and experienced professionals alike. There are many seasoned development professionals who realize that mastering the game of applying to mid- and senior-level positions can help them significantly increase or even 2x their current income, expertise or influence. I'm also uniquely qualified to teach development sector newcomers since I started out with no experience or connections whatsoever.

4 weeks from now, where will you be?

You could not join and watch another month go by, as your frustration and disappointment grow with each new failed application.

Or worse yet, next year comes around and you're still stranded at the current stage of your career, as your skills and passion to make a difference slowly fade away.

Imagine instead...

What your days could be like if you can stop wasting time finding jobs – and start being able to lead a life of real, meaningful impact. For you, your family and your community. If you could find an organization and team that ACTUALLY values your skills and contributions—where you can grow your influence and make a difference.

You could wake up in the morning with the latest results from your team implementing a new scaling approach to your project. Donors could be looking to fund your next initiative. And policymakers could be reforming legislation based on the findings of your latest analysis.

With salary and benefits paying you what you’re worth, you will no longer feel financial pressure to support your family. You can focus on growing your skills, building your impact and living a life of difference for others.

With our proven system, all of this is possible. You can finally increase your chances for a top development job 2x - every time you need to get a new impact opportunity.

With Break Into Development, You Can Build Your Own Impact Job-Getting Machine.

Get Started Making Your Impact in the World TODAY

Break Into Development is currently not open for enrollment. Sign up for the Waitlist to be the first to know when it opens up again!

This course is closed for enrollment.