Earlier work assignments of Saule Kalikova included contracts and staff positions such as a research officer with the Research Institute of Pedagogical Sciences named after Y. Altynsarin (1978-1991); a chief specialist of the Department of Education Development Strategy with MES RK (1991-1993); an advisor of the Education Committee of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan (1993-1995). She has extensive experience as a national expert in the projects of various international organizations (such as ADB, WB, UNDP, UNESCO) to assist the Government of Kazakhstan in reforming the education sector (2001-2009).
Saule Kalikova is the author and co-author of the numerous policy papers and recommendations addressed to the Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan (mainly related to the general secondary education). She is the author of several publications devoted to the analysis of various aspects of the education policy of the Republic of Kazakhstan.
Saule joined the Soros Foundation Kazakhstan in 1995 as a training coordinator (1995-1997); then she continued her career with the Foundation as a director of education programs (1998-2003), a director of Education Policy Analysis Center (2003-2008), an advisor on education policy (2009-2013), and then policy advisor (since 2014 up to present).