How much time do you spend every day at your job? How much of that time do you spend frustrated that your green personal life doesn't translate in the workplace, wanting to do more with your professional life? If you daydream about aligning your personal convictions with a fulfilling and inspiring professional position, then maybe it's time to think about a green job search.
"But wait!" you may be thinking. "I work in ________ (fill in the blank: accounting, teaching, metal working, carpentry, chemicals, housekeeping, transport, retail, sales...). How can I find a greener job?"
Better to ask yourself: Where will my job be in the future, if sustainability is not key to my company's bottom line? You don't want to be left behind; you want to be at the forefront of the new economy, right?
4 tips for your green job searchGo Where There's Growth
The green job market is booming. The demand for environmental or atmospheric scientists, hydrologists, urban planners, landscape architects, sustainable designers and environmental teachers outstrips the average economic growth rate. Consulting firms are all targeting this juicy market and hiring to serve it.
Opening your own business in green niche markets may be attractive. Funds and donations for environmental causes are supporting more non-governmental organizations and activist groups. Financial types are all running after the "triple bottom line" and windfarm investments.
All this adds up to one thing: going green is big business, and there are new jobs created every day to support the burgeoning industry. Follow Your Heart
Join green groups, read green blogs or enjoy an evening with green-minded friends. Keep track of which topics draw you in. Do your ears perk up at the mention of organic corn; does alternative energy spark your interest; do you have a desire to design?
When you meet someone whose green career you envy or admire, start asking questions: What do they love about their job? What do they hate? You may find your rosy picture dulled by reality. Or your interest may be further piqued. Even if you don't make it all the way to career change, you will have a lot of fun learning and make new friends. Inventory Your Strengths
If you are like most people, you will be happiest doing the things you do best. So think of this step as a quest for self-fulfillment rather than as a thankless chore necessary for putting bullet points on a new résumé.
Write down the three things you like best about your current job. Then write down the three biggest successes you have had in the past several years. What are the skills you used to generate that success? Finally, write down the three things you think you could do or would like to do. Do you have the skills to realistically pursue your wishes? Which skills should you improve for your dream job?
Use this improved understanding of your own drives and capabilities to steer your search for the next step in your career. And put them on your résumé: that way you'll get the job you were put on this blue earth to do. Build a Green Résumé
As soon as you have some fields that you think may be interesting, try to get involved. Volunteer to help out in a project, to start a green campaign or to be the backup for the greenest guy/gal on staff where you work right now. This will build your skills and give you confidence that you are making the right choice for your next career move.