Getting Oriented to Go Green

February 10, 2009 at 5:13 pm 7 comments

Christina headshotPenned by Christina
Over the coming weeks, I will cover various topics on what you can do to find a job within the sustainability/green job space. I am a graduate of the University of Michigan’s Erb Institute for Global Sustainable Enterprise where I completed an MBA and MS in the School of Natural Resources & Environment. Obviously that doesn’t make me an expert on this weighty topic, but having the academic background coupled with the practical experience I get everyday talking to both our clients and candidates (and friends!) hopefully provides me with the perspective to be able to give salient advice to those of you who happen to be looking for it…

Big Picture Impressions

Over the last few months, many job seekers and job “inquire-ers” have asked me for my impressions of when green companies will start hiring and in which specific sectors will the highest demand be. As you might imagine, this is a bit difficult to predict but in my efforts to be helpful, I have tried my darn-dest to do so! For those of you with whom I have not had the pleasure of speaking with, here’s what I CAN tell you:

Realistically, this is a difficult time to be job hunting (be it within the sustainability realm or otherwise) since the economic situation has ensured that there are fewer jobs to be had while the number of people looking is increasing exponentially. Thus, the hard truth is that if you are looking for a job today, you must think long-term as to what you can do right now to better position yourself for that moment in time when the economy does begin to pick up and with it, the sustainability agendas of companies. And here at BGT, we do believe that the first sectors/jobs to feel the uptick will specifically be those operating in the green space.

So. Depending on your current employment situation, it is critical to consider what you can do in the short-term to better position yourself for the long-term. I know that seems vague but in the coming weeks I will attempt to hone in on what that means depending on your current situation and where it is that you are trying to get.

Starting from the Basics

Our first piece of advice is always to be informed — legitimacy is extremely important in the green space, which has battled greenwashing over the past several years. I know there are an overwhelming number of websites out there that provide information and guidance in the sustainability realm so I would like to point out some of our favorites to begin and/or continue your research and networking efforts:

For basic education on topics of the environment and sustainability, this site is often useful (and a personal favorite): gristmill.grist.org/skeptics

Next week I will begin to dissect the sometimes-elusive world of sustainability consulting and provide some thoughts on what you can do to try to get yourself in the door of the firms doing that kind of work. Until then, keep up the good work – we need you all!

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7 Comments Add your own

  • 1. Michael S.  |  February 11, 2009 at 3:50 am

    Grrrreat first blog Christina. Very informative, well written, and very helpful towards my pursuit.

    Keep’em coming. We NEED YOU!!

    Good-Day.
    Michael

    Reply
  • 2. Liz A.  |  February 11, 2009 at 6:36 pm

    I have been eagerly awaiting this kind of insight! Thanks, and I look forward to your future posts.

    Reply
  • 3. Douglas  |  February 11, 2009 at 6:38 pm

    Thanks for the post. I first heard of Bright Green when I appeared at the GreenJobs Expo in DC last week. I was shocked to find that of the 100 companies and orgs presenting at the “Green Jobs Expo” almost none of them had job vacancies. Secondly, while away in Europe for the past two years, it seems that “Green” has become synonymous with “renewable energy”. This was confirmed by the companies and orgs at the Expo, which were predominantly renewable energy related. This brings me to my personal issue of looking for work here in DC. I am a linguist, have 2 Masters, one in International Affairs, and the other in Natural Resources and Sustainable Development, and I am an environmental filmmaker. I am not an engineer, nor a salesperson, but my impression is that “green” careers are exactly that. What would you recommend for someone who wants to get back into the game here in DC, but isn’t an engineer, doesn’t want to sell or market energy, and is more concerned with promoting good science and educating people? Where are those jobs? Any thoughts would be welcome.

    Reply
  • 4. Rupal  |  February 15, 2009 at 5:45 pm

    Christina, this is a great idea and I am looking forward to your perspective as you are perfectly in the middle of demand and supply!

    Doug, I work in a renewable energy company and can tell you there are many “communication” jobs that support the business or engineering organizations. You could work in Graphics design, communications and/or marketing. All these functions work to communicate with the broader public and because this industry is fairly new, part of that job is education i.e. GE Smart Grid. Keep checking company web sites as well to see if they are looking for people.

    Reply
  • 5. Matt  |  February 15, 2009 at 10:51 pm

    Christina, this is excellent advice and perspective. Does Bright Green Talent have a service that can provide me with individualized advice?

    Reply
  • 6. Sam  |  February 22, 2009 at 10:46 am

    Hi Cristina,

    I work with a NGO and our office keeps on looking for people who can work with us to spread awareness about cleaner environment.

    I personally use A HREF=”http://www.rmartinbikes.com/”> electric scooter from R Martin to promote this cause and hope people would do that too.

    Good article.
    Regards,
    Sam

    Reply
  • 7. Sam  |  February 22, 2009 at 10:55 am

    Hi Cristina,

    I work with a NGO and our office keeps on looking for people who can work with us to spread awareness about cleaner environment.

    I personally use A HREF=”http://www.rmartinbikes.com/”> electric scooter from R Martin to promote this cause and hope people would do that too.

    Good article.
    Regards,
    Sam

    Reply

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