How to Wait for the Right Green Job - dummies

How to Wait for the Right Green Job

By Carol L. McClelland

You are ready to find a green job, but the right green job might not be out there. The timing of your transition to an environmentally focused career doesn’t hinge on your experience or education. In fact, your inability to move into an eco-friendly job may have nothing to do with you at all. It’s entirely possible that the green industry is not ready to hire someone with your skills and talents.

If you long to work in the biofuels industry, creating fuel from algae, switch grass, or sawdust, you may be in just the right place and time if you are a scientist or technician. If, however, your dream job is marketing, sales, or production manager, you may be out of luck, for the time being at least. At this point in time, the entire biofuels industry is in a research and development phase. Every company that exists in this industry is focusing all their time and resources on discovering a way to produce biofuels that is cost effective, efficient, and scalable. In other words, they are still searching for a viable way to produce the product they are in existence to provide. Until they find that formula and know that they can produce the product in mass quantities, they have no business hiring production managers, marketing teams, or a sales force. They have nothing to produce, market, or sell. Yet.

If you find that you’ve arrived at the party a few months or years too early, acknowledge both your dream and the current state of your target industry and do at least some, if not all, of the following:

  • Keep tracking your target industry. Watch for technological breakthroughs. Scan for opportunities. Being aware of your industry allows you to follow history in the making. You then know what the industry has tried, what has worked, and what hasn’t. Your detailed knowledge means that you are ready to step into any company and be productive from day one.

  • Gain related experience. Although you won’t be able to gain experience in your target industry, think about related industries that might give you experience in the distribution system your target industry is likely to use, help you build a network of contacts that will be valuable to a future employer from your target industry, or teach you about an analogous technology or process.

  • Attend industry conferences. To identify job opportunities in related industries, you need to understand your target industry in as much detail as possible. Although reading blogs, newsletters, and industry association Web sites can help, attending a conference with professionals who are actively working in the industry is invaluable.

Use the time you have wisely, from when you identify your target green industry to the time that industry is ready to hire you. By staying engaged, you position yourself ahead of all the others who gave up hope of ever finding a job in the emerging industry.