Working Greener- Do you want to be part of the solution?
Is your concern about climate change driving you to be part of the solution? It's no secret that employment in the green economy is on the rise. As more consumers and businesses prioritise sustainable practices, the demand for skilled workers in renewable energy, eco-friendly products, and other green industries is set to soar. The question is, how can you best create a career working in the green economy?
In this blog post, we'll share some insights to help you navigate the job market and find the perfect green role for you.
Identify your drivers and capability set
Before you dive headfirst into the green job market, take some time to reflect on your drivers and skillsets. The green economy is a diverse and burgeoning sector, with opportunities ranging from sustainability consultants to wind turbine technicians. Consider what areas of the green economy interest you most and how your skills and experience align with these roles. If you're passionate about the environment and have a background in marketing, for instance, you might consider a role in a renewable energy company where communicating the solutions is a key requirement.
Identifying your passion and capabilities will help you narrow your job search and focus your CV and cover letter to each role.
Being connected to the right people is key to landing any job, and the green sector is no exception. Start by attending industry events and conferences to meet people in your desired industry. Alternatively, join online forums and social media groups related to the green sector, and engage with other members to build your professional sphere of influence. It doesn’t hurt to be part of the conversation.
When applying for roles, consider reaching out to current employees at the company to express your interest and ask for any insights they might have. This is an essential part of you also doing your due diligence, as who you work with is also as important as what you bring to the table. Building a strong professional network will not only give you access to job openings but also show potential employers that you're committed to your industry.
This is also about planned happenstance, being in the right place for when the right opportunity will present itself, so be patient.
In a competitive job market, it's important to be proactive and show initiative. Don't wait for a job opening to appear on a job board or company website. Instead, consider sending a speculative application outlining your capabilities and experience and expressing your interest in working for the company. Additionally, consider taking on part-time freelance work or volunteering to gain experience and build your CV. This last suggestion has worked for many of our clients as it demonstrates your drive to add value no matter what. Being on the front foot shows potential employers that you're committed to working in a sustainability-focused career and willing to work hard to achieve your goals.
Focus your CV and cover Letter
The laws of probability would suggest that you'll be competing against many other candidates for each role you apply for, so it's essential to make your application stand out.
Focus your CV and cover letter to each role and company you're applying for, highlighting your relevant skills and experience.
Use clear and concise language to demonstrate your expertise and enthusiasm for the role. Consider including examples of how you've made a positive impact in previous roles and use industry-specific terminology to show you're familiar with the sector.
Whilst you will have your message to project, remember any future employer is focused on what is in it for them and their organisation. For instance, if you're applying for a role as a Sustainability Analyst in a reputed renewable energy firm, your cover letter might start with:
"As a passionate advocate for renewable energy with a strong background in data analysis, I am excited to apply for the Sustainability Analyst position at [Company Name]. My experience includes [specific example], and I believe this aligns well with the requirements of your role."
On your CV, you might highlight your capabilities, skills and experiences like this:
Capability: Data Analysis
Experience: Utilised statistical software to analyse energy consumption data at my previous role in [Company Name], leading to a 15% increase in energy efficiency.
Capability: Project Management
Experience: Led a cross-functional team to develop and implement a comprehensive sustainability project at [Company Name], resulting in a 20% reduction in carbon footprint over one year.
Even if you don't have direct experience in the green sector, remember that transferable skills are highly valued. As an applicant, you can highlight experiences from different sectors or industries that demonstrate your relevant skills. For example:
"While I have not previously worked in the green sector, my experience in project management and my ability to collaborate and lead teams towards success is transferable to the role of Sustainability Project Manager at [Company Name]. During my tenure at [Previous Company Name], I successfully managed multiple high-stakes projects, consistently delivering them on time and within budget. My commitment to environmental sustainability, coupled with my project management skills, make me a strong candidate for this role."
On your CV, you might highlight your transferable skills like this:
Capability: Project Management
Experience: Successfully executed and managed multiple projects in [Previous Company Name], ensuring they were completed on time and within budget.
Experience: Led a team of [number] individuals in [Previous Company Name], fostering a collaborative work environment and encouraging innovative solutions.
The green sector values passion and commitment to sustainability. Even without direct experience, your transferable skills and passion for the sector can make you a strong candidate.
Remember, the key is to be specific and relevant, showcasing not just what you've done, but also the impact and value you've brought to your previous roles. You want potential employers to see how you will be a valuable addition to their green initiatives.
Finally, it's essential to stay up to date on industry trends and developments in the green sector. Stay informed by reading industry publications, following relevant news outlets, and attending industry events.
Having an in-depth understanding of your chosen industry will not only impress potential employers but also enable you to make informed career decisions and contribute effectively in your role.
Here are some credible publications and websites that applicants can refer to to stay updated in the green sector:
The Guardian's Environment Section The Guardian provides excellent coverage of global environmental news, including renewable energy, climate change, and wildlife conservation.
Sustainable Brands This is a learning, collaboration, and commerce community of over 348,000 sustainable business leaders from around the globe.
GreenBiz GreenBiz provides intelligent, focused content on business, technology, and sustainability for people from every industry and discipline.
Clean Energy Council An authoritative source for news and information related to clean energy in Australia.
The Fifth Estate A news outlet that keeps you informed about sustainable property development and urban planning issues.
Renew Economy An online publication focusing on the clean energy sector and climate policies in Australia.
Green Magazine A publication providing insights into the latest in sustainable architecture and environmentally friendly design in Australia.
Sustainability Matters An online platform with news, case studies, and articles related to sustainable practices and green technology in Australia
These sources are just starting points. There are many other industry-specific journals, newsletters, and websites out there. Find the ones that best match your particular interests within the green sector.
The green economy is a dynamic and exciting sector, with opportunities for motivated and talented professionals who want to make a difference.
By identifying your drivers and capabilities, building and extending your current relationships and therefore your network, and focusing/tailoring your message through your application and other communication, you position yourself most effectively to achieve your goal of working in the green economy.