So you want a green career? Well, you’re not alone. While the economy has been cooling down, the interest in green jobs has been heating up. Many job-seekers these days are looking to use their talents in ways that can make a positive impact not only on their bank accounts but also on the environment.
Here are a few tips that job hunters can use to help make a green career a reality:
1. Create and maintain a “green network”. Effective networking is one of the key tools of any successful job hunter. In the world of green, it is particularly important. But a good network has many layers and there are several ways in which a strong network can be developed and maintained. A good first step is to find out about green business networking events and attend as many as possible. Another good strategy is to let your present business contacts know what you are looking for and ask for as many referrals and leads as possible. Try to find out the names of the key movers and shakers in the leading green organizations. But don’t stop there; a lower level professional can be every bit as valuable a contact as a higher-up in the organization and sometimes even more useful. In fact, if you can get to know a person who is doing the same job you think you would like to be doing, you will have the best resource you can possibly get.
2. Get training if you need it. The demand for eco-friendly education has spawned an outgrowth of teaching institutions offering specialized workshops and training focused on the particular skills required for green business enterprises. One area where this is particularly evident is the rapidly growing wind-energy industry, for which dozens of wind-technology programs have sprung up across the country. Most of these programs, offered at various community colleges, culminate in two-year associate’s degrees. But many companies responsible for developing new technologies in this area are taking an active role themselves, training thousands of new hires every year. There is no better way to jump start a new green career than to pursue environmental training by enrolling in a program or signing up for workshops and classes.
3. Find out what’s out there. Before plunging in the ocean of green employment, put your toe in the water first. Do a little research about the job market. Specifically, find out which careers are the fastest-growing and which ones are likely to provide you with just the right combination of personal satisfaction and business success. Also do some company research. There are many widely-available publications that publish lists of the top green companies. Once you’ve narrowed your search, start checking the large number of job boards which focus on green careers. A few of these are:
4. Don’t narrow your scope for the wrong reasons. Some people make the mistake of thinking that green employment is limited to certain job categories like scientific research or technical work. But in reality most green jobs are in other fields and encompass the same wide variety of positions found in most industries. For example, renewable energy companies need accountants, marketers, designers, project managers, and support personnel every bit as much as other companies do. So don’t make the mistake of assuming that certain skills are inherently incompatible with green work. Typecasting happens with companies too. Everyone thinks green when it comes to industries like solar energy and environmental management. But many companies not normally thought of as green are actively looking for workers who can help them reduce their carbon footprints. Industries such as tourism, education, and construction have been jumping on the green bandwagon and many others are quickly joining them.
5. Showcase your passion for green! Your competitors in the green job hunt are folks like you who are passionate about preserving the environment. The best way to get that job for yourself is to put your own passion on display. To prepare for your job interviews, read up on the environment. Subscribe to environmental newsletters. Read the newspaper and pay particular attention to hot environmental topics. This will not only give you things to talk about during your job interviews but also things to demonstrate your strong feelings about. Also, strongly consider volunteering with a local organization dedicated to conservation or to other environmental issues. This will serve the dual purpose of elevating your green awareness level while also giving your future employer first-hand evidence that your passion for green is rooted in action – not just in words.
Working for an eco-friendly company is a noble goal. It is also an achievable one. The new energy economy is triggering an enthusiasm for eco-consciousness and along with it a golden opportunity for job hunters who want to find environmentally friendly employment. The job search blues can most definitely turn to green – and it’s up to you to make it happen.
Source: The Alternative Consumer
There are certainly an increasing number of ‘green jobs’ becoming available but so is the number of people who want those jobs increasing! In countries such as South Africa, many employment opportunities are subject to certain racial and gender requirements, making finding a job in this depressed economy even more difficult for many highly qualified individuals. An alternative to finding green employment is to begin your own green business. In the beginning, it’s likely to be tough but as the world realizes that there is not any sustainable alternative to green business, your efforts will be rewarded on account of being established while others scramble to ‘go green’. South Africa faces both a water crisis and an energy crisis and therefore the potential for water conservation- and renewable energy orientated businesses is huge. Solar energy is particularly suited to South Africa’s sunny climate and solar panels and solar geysers are becoming more affordable and efficient. See Top 5 Green Jobs for 2011.
Water Rhapsody Water Conservation Systems and Yes Solar are eco-friendly businesses to the core, operated by people who are not only passionate about the environment but seek to engage in ethical business that has a positive impact on society.
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