How to Successfully Find a “Green” Job - dummies

How to Successfully Find a “Green” Job

By Carol L. McClelland

Changing your career direction is a significant decision on a good day. Making the choice to enter the green economy ups the ante even more. Successful job-hunting is about more than landing a great job; it’s about landing a job that plays a role in the environmental movement. Use the following tips to stay focused as you step toward your green career:

  • Staying informed: The green economy is currently in its infancy. Over time, as the economy develops, some industries will thrive, others will change in response to the marketplace and new technologies, and others will fade away into the sunset. The only way you can know where your target industry is heading is to track the factors that are shaping the green economy, your industry, sustainability, your profession, and the technology and processes unique to your field. Instead of being blindsided by these developments, use the changes you see to make strategic decisions about your future.

  • Taking the initiative: Your green career is not going to be handed to you on a silver platter, you must take an active role in finding your place in the green economy.

  • Becoming an activist: On occasion, you may find your career hanging in the balance as new laws, regulations, incentives, and disincentives are introduced or reach their expiration date. Stay alert. If you haven’t yet subscribed to a newsletter for your profession or industry, it is time to do so. When your industry or profession is galvanizing its members to call for passing or defeating a certain measure, you need to pay attention.

  • Demonstrating your commitment to the planet: Green employers want to hire job candidates who walk their talk. It’s not enough to pretend you are green. Employers will know in a heartbeat if you aren’t authentic. You must find ways to show prospective employers that you are committed to the environment and sustainability.

  • Establishing your leadership: During the early stages of the green economy, everyone must be a leader. Whether your job involves using a new technology, engaging people to take new actions, or encouraging your management team to make a process more sustainable, you must have leadership skills to get the job done. Look for opportunities to develop and demonstrate your leadership skills.

  • Navigating a changing world: If you want to work in the first wave of the green economy, you must be comfortable with uncertainty. To thrive, you must be able to go with the flow when plans change, stay focused, pick up on trends amid the random noise of constant change, and change goals midstream as new circumstances demand it. Are you ready?

If you’re just starting out on your quest for a green career, you may feel overwhelmed by all the options and directions you could go. Everything looks so interesting it’s hard to narrow down your focus. Begin by keeping track of the topics that interest you. As you collect these clues, you’ll begin to see possible themes develop. It’s those trends that point you in the right direction for your career.