Ten Great Green Career Resources - dummies

Ten Great Green Career Resources

By Carol L. McClelland

Finding a green job takes more than an interest in environmental issues. In fact, being on top of the issues, trends, and innovations is the name of the job-hunting game in the green economy and a sustainable future. The more you know, the more you shine and the more valuable you become to potential eco-friendly employers. If you want to start a green career, then start with the resources listed here.

  • Make sense of global warming. Although there are a number of good reasons to create a sustainable economy, one of the biggest motivators is the state of the Earth’s climate. Familiarizing yourself with the issues of global warming, climate change, and related issues provides you with a strong foundation for your green career. In addition, having an overview of the general concepts and issues helps you determine where you want to focus your time, energy, and talents in your career. Explore these topics from several perspectives to pick up nuances and facts that strengthen your knowledge.

  • Track legislative action. As you prepare to shift into a green career or manage your current one, you must keep your finger on the pulse of the green economy. With new policies, treaties, incentives, disincentives, and funding sources coming into play, the green economy is evolving each and every week. The factors shaping the new economy have the capacity to bring growth or contraction with the flick of a pen. To have a handle on your target industry, and more important your job status, you must invest time each week in tracking major developments. Try Green Career Central, Green For All, and the Apollo Alliance to start.

  • Follow green economy developments. The old adage, follow the money, definitely applies in the green economy. Understanding which industries and organizations are receiving money helps you ascertain where to focus. Sites that may help include Recovery.gov and GreenBiz.com.

  • Scan for innovation. If you’re inspired and motivated by the discoveries and innovations of others, use these sites as your muse. Set aside some time to explore these sites in detail. Clear your calendar, so you can expand your vision of what’s possible and discover what is happening right now: TED, Planet Green, the Science Channel, and GreenBiz.com’s reports on innovative design.

  • Grasp green business concepts. To thrive in the new economy, it’s essential that you familiarize yourself with the issues businesses are facing as they strive to become more sustainable and environmentally friendly. Refer to the Sierra Club’s blog for a list of environmental, sustainable, and green book titles. Enter book roundup in the search engine to pull up hundreds of fascinating green titles.

  • Search for green information. Use the following tools to gather information and additional resources pertaining to your target green industry and career: Wikipedia, Google, and green industry profiles.

  • Identify green networking hubs. One of the most effective ways to move your green career forward is to build a strong green network. Connecting with people in your local area, or even online, who are committed to sustainability and community action puts you in touch with a network of people who share your values and intentions. You can find green organizations in your area through green teams (check with your city hall), Cool Cities teams, environmental and other volunteer organizations, and professional networking groups such as Eco Tuesdays, Green Drinks, and Net Impact.

  • Find green companies. Identifying the companies and organizations that match your values is a critical part of your job search. To find a list of companies that fits a particular criterion, try association membership lists (such as Social Venture Network), books and Web sites that list companies who are doing great work (such as the Vault Guide to Green Programs or Green to Gold: How Smart Companies Use Environmental Strategy to Innovate, Create Value, and Build Competitive Advantage), and ratings by watchdog groups and research organizations (such as Climate Counts).

  • Stay motivated and entertained. Need an inspirational boost to remind you why you want to help the green movement through your profession? Snap you out of your complacency with The Story of Stuff, Who Killed the Electric Car?, Planet Earth, or An Inconvenient Truth. Find even more through the GRIST blog and the Sierra Club blog.

  • Find current green career trends. If you’re interested in discovering more green career tactics and tracking green career trends, take a look at the following blogs and newsletters: Green Economy Post, My Green Education and Career, Green Career Central’s Green Career Tip of the Week, Solutions for Green Careers.