What Are the Different Types of Careers in Conflict Resolution?

Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

Careers in conflict resolution can run the gamut from soothing student riots to slowing warring nations. With proper training and certification, careers in conflict management can be found in nearly every area of the professional world, including both the private and public sectors. Some of the different types of careers in conflict resolution include diplomatic postings, court mediation, crisis negotiation, and community dispute management.

Diplomats represent the United States in peace talks and other conflict resolution meetings around the world.
Diplomats represent the United States in peace talks and other conflict resolution meetings around the world.

Diplomatic work requires tact, assertiveness, and a deep understanding of culture and language. Many nations use diplomats to represent national interests in international conflict resolution. Careers in conflict resolution in the diplomatic field may also be non-governmental; many skilled mediators work for non-profit initiatives that promote peace, co-operation, and human services across borders. Diplomatic negotiators often have a strong background in law or international relations, travel frequently, and usually must speak multiple languages. Some of the tasks entrusted to diplomats include negotiating peace settlements or cease-fires, rebuilding international relations following a war, or implementing peacekeeping standards or recovery efforts after an internal conflict or natural disaster.

Negotiators may work with businesses or labor groups to help avert strikes and shutdowns.
Negotiators may work with businesses or labor groups to help avert strikes and shutdowns.

Many careers in conflict resolution revolve around the justice system, especially in the area of mediation. Court mediators are frequently lawyers or at least legal professionals, and may be brought in to resolve some conflicts before they reach a trial. Custody and divorce settlements are two very common areas in which court mediators specialize, though many also handle business disputes, such as the dissolution of business partnerships.

Crisis negotiation careers are for mediators that perform well in stressful situations. Negotiators may work with police and military groups to handle hostage situations or stand-offs. In addition to staying cool under pressure, negotiators must be able to act according to the law to help peacefully resolve dangerous situations. Negotiators may also work with business or labor groups to help avert strikes, shutdowns, or other business crises. Many business negotiators work for governmental departments rather than for businesses or unions, so that they can maintain a neutral stance in a crisis.

There are many careers in conflict resolution that focus on the development and maintenance of a stable community. In these careers, mediators and negotiators handle disputes between diverse groups of citizens, private citizens and public officials, or businesses or organizations and the people of the community. Community mediators can help solve important civic questions while allowing all interested parties to have an opportunity to speak and be heard. This type of career may be very rewarding for dispute resolution professionals that want to use their skills on a grassroots level.

Many divorcing couples need the help of a professional to resolve conflicts about assets and custody.
Many divorcing couples need the help of a professional to resolve conflicts about assets and custody.
Jessica Ellis
Jessica Ellis

With a B.A. in theater from UCLA and a graduate degree in screenwriting from the American Film Institute, Jessica is passionate about drama and film. She has many other interests, and enjoys learning and writing about a wide range of topics in her role as a wiseGEEK writer.

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