Weathering the Storm

February 12, 2009 at 5:47 pm Leave a comment

dsc_1294-1Penned by Nick

It’s been a brutal year to be a recruiter. We launched Bright Green Talent US on January 7, 2008–1 month into the recession. One year later, it’s only gotten worse: unemployment is nearing decade-long highs, and the green movement is struggling to get its feet underneath itself. Just Friday we learned the economy has shed nearly 600,000 jobs.

In the weeks ahead, our team will share their varied perspectives on where the green jobs are, how to get them, and what the future of the industry looks like.

For my part, I’ll bring together two perspectives: that of a small (green) business owner, and that of someone who works daily in the labor markets and measures macro-trends. The hope is that each week provides you, the reader, greater insight into this emerging space so that you can help make it a reality.

But first, the cold splash of morning water: it’s really ugly out there, and it likely won’t get better for a while. To bridge the next 6 months, Bright Green has made adjustments. For business owners looking for fresh ideas on what’s worked, consider the following:

1) Get a line of credit–if at all possible–so that you can make payroll in a pinch;

2) Diversify your revenue streams. Things are moving quickly, and you need to adjust. Chaos means opportunity for the entrepreneurial;

3) Control headcount, scale back marketing, and focus on reaching more people with fewer internal resources; and

4) Reexamine your contracts and make sure they’re “air tight.” Clients have every right to live the by the letter of the Agreement, and if it’s too lenient, you may find your checks coming weeks later than expected, testing your cash flow.

For job seekers, it’s important to bear the lessons above in mind. The Federal government is brawling over a stimulus plan that’s focused on job creation. Green jobs could benefit, or get lost in the shuffle. To keep the movement alive, rally your elected officials to keep funding towards green jobs in the stimulus

Once you’ve called the calvary, make sure your sword’s sharp for close range battle with other job seekers:

1) Make the most of the next six months until companies start hiring again. Get LEED, NABCEP, or otherwise certified. Take the civil service exam if you’d like to get a government job;
2) Find a sector that fills a need, not a want. Some things are mission-critical, others aren’t. See what regulation is driving business innovation in your area through online research (ex: Californians, Google “AB 32”)
3) Figure out how to differentiate your skill set (more on this next week);
4) Brush up your interview techniques (more in the weeks ahead).

As ever, BGT’s here to help. Together we’ll make it through this tough time.

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