Whatever one’s opinion of climate change, global warming, and the green agenda, we all concur that the planet is running out of fossil fuels, and we’ve got to take new and different approaches to the way we use our natural resources. As this reality dawns on us, more and more is being done to expand the ‘green culture’-and. With an expansion of green culture comes the development of the green economy.
Whilst this economy is still new and young, it is maturing quickly-it already accounts for 2.7 million jobs in the US and more than 900,000 jobs in the UK. This labor market is continuing to grow, and there are plenty of recruitment opportunities out there for job seekers who are interested in ‘going green.’ To get a job in this sector, follow these steps.
1. Get a Skills Upgrade
Update your knowledge and skills before shifting into the green sector. Read up on what the green economy actually is and where it’s going. Build upon your existing skills that might be useful and identify and then learn new skills that you’ll need. Commit to volunteering in environmental-type roles to show your commitment and a sense of purpose that matches that of a green company.
2. Be Enthusiastic
Show enthusiasm for the area of the green sector you want to go into. Build and demonstrate a knowledge of the organizations you want to apply to. This sector is incredibly competitive, so you can’t just rest back on your laurels and think a job will fall into your lap. These businesses are full of people who are passionately interested in technology and who have a strong sense of purpose. Commit to understanding that mindset and then genuinely adopting it.
3. What Experience do you have?
Consider whether you have experience in setting things up-setting up systems, establishing teams, and creating groups. Something as simple as your ability to move a business from a garage to an office could be helpful. Have you got experience in choosing a suitable space for an office and setting up voicemail and security systems, for example?
4. Know Your Key Skills
Before the company starts employing more staff, it’ll need a core of people with critical skills. You could be one of these people. Are you capable of getting results with limited resources? Can you show your abilities to make a practical difference quickly? All organizations need project management skills. Some will also need program management skills. Do you have experience in an executive career? Green companies require individuals to operate at the executive level as well as on the ground.
5. Are You a Good Communicator?
The green economy has a real sense of purpose that may be disruptive to local communities. A green-focused business might cause changes and problems that these communities don’t like. Marketing and PR can be critical. Consider how you’d communicate with local communities about what the company is doing and why this is a good thing. If you’re coming from the public sector, you already have skills in relating to the public. Private sector companies may not have the same experience and be so good at this area of work, so they may need someone who can overcome the ‘not in my backyard’ philosophy.
6. Harness Your Expertise
Think about how your expertise can be applied to the green economy. This expertise could be around purchasing, procurement, planning, engineering, testing analysis, business development, sales, resales, and so on. Look harder at yourself and what it is you’ve experienced in your career. Zone into your specific skills to identify where it is that you think you’ve got particular expertise that can be transferred across.
7. Be Committed
If you are going to make a career change into green-collar work, you will need to be committed to making this happen. You have to show evidence that you are dedicated and determined to enter this sector and that you are willing to do whatever it takes to get into it. Get to know the industry, and learn to be confident talking about it. Know the players and find the segment that interests you and fits you best. It can also be helpful to target and identify specific companies in your area to contact and work for.
The green economy is new, immature, energetic, and developing fast. If you have the energy, the right attitude, and relevant skills, why wouldn’t you be helpful to companies in this sector?
Simon North is the founder of Position Ignition – a modern-day, very personal careers advisory service for professionals. Simon is a career and transition expert with over 25 years of experience in helping individuals with their careers. He uses his unique approach to enable individuals with their personal and professional development.